If the rubber industry's million-dollar question is attracting promising young workers to keep the talent pipeline flowing, the billion dollar one would be how to keep them from jumping ship.
The answer, though, isn't as expensive: It all comes down to culture.
Millennials, those born between the mid-80s and late 90s, are attracted to company cultures that are driven by two things: career development and giving back to the community. Young workers want to feel they belong, according to human resources officials, but more importantly they want to feel like their company stands for something more than just its bottom line.
"In my experience, it's culture No. 1," said Larry Ott, Cooper Standard Automotive Inc.'s chief human resources officer. "That's not to say that salary and benefits and maybe flexibility around the schedule aren't important, but it's culture. Salary and benefits aren't really the drivers in getting them and keeping them interested. Those have to be the price of entry, a certain expectation. But it's not the differentiator."
Ed Frauenheim—director of research and content at Great Place to Work, a company that works with companies in developing great cultures—said a great workplace has three components: trust in leaders, camaraderie and pride in what they do.
Millennials are looking for leaders who are honest and forthright, fostering communication and giving their employees a lot of information. He added that millennials want to have their say. They also want to feel like their work has a mission or a sense of meaning, seeking out companies that can connect their brand to a bigger purpose.
They also want to collaborate, both in and outside of work functions. And they want the leaders of the company to be the driving forces.
"What we have noticed about millennials is that they have set the bar higher than earlier generations for what they want in a great workplace," Frauenheim said. "If they don't experience those three things, then they're less likely to stick around."
A clear path
There's only one chance to make a good first impression. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies takes that statement to heart.