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What makes a “great employer” is obviously subjective, but to successfully recruit and retain top talent, you need to know the emerging trends and expectations.

In addition to shirking the side part and skinny jeans, Gen Z (the generation born between 1997 to 2012) is adamant about learning and career growth. According to the 2021 LinkedIn Learning Workplace Learning Report, more than 76 percent of Gen Z employers believe that learning is key to a successful career. These digital savvy, information-obsessed lifelong learners view career growth as a fluid endeavor that crosses traditional work-life boundaries. Eighty-three percent want to learn skills to perform better in their current roles, and 73 percent want to learn about a topic they are personally interested in while at work.

This increasing hunger for career opportunities is crossing generations in our post-pandemic workplace. Last year rocked older workers, too, with many jobs ceasing to exist overnight. The demand for new skills skyrocketed as employees sought to remain relevant in the midst of intense change. Now that many organizations are hiring again and unemployment is steadily declining, your talent pool is laser focused on employability.

Here are three tips for becoming an employer of choice this year.

Stay smart about skills

Reskilling, upskilling, soft skills (or power skills, as many are now calling them)—we cannot stop talking about skills. And for good reason. Employees are more self-motivated than ever to remain on the leading edge of their own development. Use this widespread thirst for knowledge and learning to your advantage. Assess the state of your current employees’ skills against the skills your organization requires to be successful in the years to come. If your people require some “next skilling,” chances are good that they are ready for it.

Create opportunities for self-direction

The ways in which your employees gain new skills is changing, too. Employees want to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to their development. Organizations no longer are pushing knowledge at their people; now they are creating environments in which people can pull information when, where, and how they see fit. You can create blended opportunities that serve your needs and those of your people. For example, combine the skills you have identified as critical and the information you deem necessary for workforce growth with employee-led development programs. Design a “learning menu” so employees have more choices and greater autonomy when it comes to their career.

Focus on personalization

Finally, consider how you can craft learning and development uniquely for each individual in your organization. Part of the recent and necessary social shift toward more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces is the understanding that every employee is worthy of opportunity. And these opportunities should look as unique as each person in your agency. One way to scale such a massive personalization undertaking is to ask employees to identify the knowledge and skills they would like to acquire. Encourage your talent to own their development, while taking some of the pressure off your organization to deliver perfectly personalized experiences.

Your existing and prospective employees want to become more employable. For them, learning is more important than ever, and they are expecting employers to get it right. What are you doing today to attract better talent tomorrow? Brighter Strategies can support you in becoming an employer of choice. Contact us today to learn more.