It seems all of the workplace and development has been about millennials, the unknown blip on the radar. Companies, authors, and cities have been researching, prodding, and marketing to a group that has stunned them all—because marketplaces and workplaces are rapidly evolving and the millennial mind-set is at the helm, even though we're not the captains of the ship.
As a marketing and communications person, I've faced the challenge of marketing to my generation. It's an odd thing trying to identify the motives of an audience you're so close to, without having a bias. But thankfully I've had some help—our team tapped a nationally recognized young professionals consultant, Rebecca Ryan, who has helped us research and develop a strategy that we're currently implementing to attract talent to the Columbus, Ohio, region. We've connected young professionals to each other, to major players in the community, and created a Web-based relocation tool that will assist area employers in recruiting employees of all ages to Columbus. The millennials, or "young professionals," as we call them, have the attention of our mayor and our business community—from local law firms to Fortune 500 companies.
But as fast as millennials came on the scene, the obsession with their place in our workplace is fading, and the boomers are back. The new focus is the boomers and how we can repurpose them in the marketplace.
The surprise isn't about the demographic du jour but about the level of cooperation between community members in attracting talent. In partnership with their local Chambers of Commerce, higher-education institutions, and business communities, people are collectively working together with urgency to fight for the best and brightest. Our workplaces need to constantly evolve to fit this free-agent mentality that millennials have and the boomers seem to be developing. In a global marketplace, the fight for talent is ever evolving from audience to strategy, and people have realized that they have to provide a comprehensive/collaborative effort to win the battle.
Weigh in on the comments: What is the most important thing that communities need to do to attract multigenerational talent?
Jamie Timm is director of marketing and communications for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. She previously worked in digital marketing and public relations for a major food and restaurant company. She blogs at Newly Corporate.