Marketing podcast with Lindsey Pollak (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Lindsey PollakIn a thriving business there’s growth. It doesn’t always mean the kind of hyper growth that we read about in feature stories, but a business is like any organism, it’s either growing in some fashion or it’s dieing.

The surest way to healthy growth is through the attraction of the best and brightest talent weaving it’s way through college and into the workforce.

But, we all know that the Gen Y worker just doesn’t have the same values and work ethic as the Baby Boomers right? Well, guess what, that’s what our parents said about our generation and their parents said about the generation before.

Every generation is different, the key is to understand how and build your business in a way that meshes with their priorities. (I raised four of them, I have some ideas on this!)

For this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I spent some time with career expert and author of Getting from College to Career, Lindsey Pollak. Pollak spends more of her time coaching recent grads on the best ways to get ahead in their job search and career so I turned the tables on her and asked her to shed some light on ways for businesses to appeal to, attract and retain the best from the next generation.

The next generation of worker did not ever consider the notion that they would go to work for one company for life. They are looking for things that challenge, inspire and interest them, even if it means taking less money, or jumping around on the career path.

The next generation of worker is completely digital. But, that doesn’t mean they understand how to employ technology in business. They want to do work that matters, for companies that have a strong sense of story.

The next generation is social. But, that doesn’t mean they only get Facebook, that means they want to work with people they know and like and increasingly they want to work for small businesses that are doing something they think is worthwhile.

So, how do you attract this new worker? Have a story about where you’re going and tell it. Build a culture where creativity, collaboration and autonomy flourish.

And when they come to work for you, ask them what they think, ask them how they would do something different and most importantly listen.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • William

    This article is fantastic. As a 21 year old junior in college, I am hoping to find a job after graduation. I am hard working and energetic, but I feel that some members of the older generation look down upon my entire generation as partying and unambitious. It is not the case, so I am glad to see someone else in my corner!

    • Thanks William – don’t sweat it too much I think every generation does the same – the folks that came out of the depression and WWII certainly didn’t understand us baby boomers too much either.

  • Ken

    I like the ‘business is a growing organism analogy’.  I use that one regularly and it helps people understand the importance for a business to be firing on all cylinders over the long term to stay healthy.

  • For small businesses I think there’s one more important rule to keep in mind when hiring someone right out of college… Don’t do it unless the position is your core competency. 

    For example, if you’re a CPA you can hire an accountant right out of college.  That relationship will work because you have the expertise in house that’s required to mentor that new hire.  On the other hand, if that same CPA hires a programmer right out of college, that will most likely end in disaster.  

    It’s all about mentorship. You have to keep in mind that a new college grad, regardless of how smart they are or what school they graduated from, is completely raw and doesn’t know how to do the job. If your company has the expertise to mentor these new hires in their field, great.  If you can’t provide them with the mentoring they need, it’s most likely going to be a bad outcome for them and for you. 

    • Hey Rudy, this is a great point – not sure I agree that it can’t ever work out as you’ve described, but no question you bring up a great consideration.

      •  I agree. Never say never. You don’t have to look very long before you find an exception to this rule. It’s just a pattern that I’ve seen over and over that small businesses might want to be mindful of.

  • I’m nearly 30, and I definitely agree that my peers are more concerned with employment fitting into our lifestyle rather than shaping our lifestyle to fit employment. So many people my age have cobbled together a livelihood based off of freelance opportunities and other opportunities they’ve created for themselves. My fiance and I are going to open a nonprofit music school within the next few years. On the other hand, my dad worked for his father-in-law’s small business, and he went on to own the business. He’s worked there, 9-5, his entire life, and neither of us can understand why the other would want to go about making a living the way that they did!

  • I definitely agree with the idea that a business takes on a life of its own. After some time, you can watch the business own the direction you’ve given it, whereby it generates its own momentum with or without you. Of course, you may still have to foster that momentum if you want the business to continue, but certain facets become automatic after a while, including lead generation.

    • That’s a great point about momentum Matt – it has it whether you produce intentionally or not!