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Why your company should talk about philanthropy when interviewing millennials

Today’s workforce wants the company they work for to offer opportunities to give back

Dan Herda - Director of Communications
Dan Herda is the Director of Communications for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. Previously he worked for 20 years in Corporate Communications, Training, and HR.

You’re beginning to feel the pressure. You have a number of open positions in your company and everyone is anxious for you to fill these important jobs. You place ads, you scour the employment boards, you do what you can to get the word out to potential candidates.

You feel optimistic when you finally contact a handful of people for interviews. You’re confident that someone in this group is going to be a winner.

The stars align. You’ve discovered several perfect candidates and, after several great conversations, you make some job offers.

And then something strange happens: candidate number one calls you back and turns you down. Same for number two … and number three.

What the heck is going on? What are we doing wrong?

The world of job interviewing has changed. It’s no longer a one-sided conversation. Questions now come from both sides of the table and potential candidates are interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing them.

Are you ready to answer their questions?

Here’s some things to think about the next time you are preparing for an interview.

According to Forbes:

  • Millennials will be the largest demographic in the American workforce by 2020.
  • Eighty-four percent of millennial employees gave to charity and 70 percent donated more than an hour of volunteer time in a one-year time frame to a charitable cause.

Today’s workforce wants the company they work for to offer opportunities to give back to the community. And if you don’t offer this, they will find someone who does.

So what can you do? Here are three simple talking points to add to your interview conversation:

  1. Proudly talk about the nonprofit organizations that your company supports. Let them know that giving back is part of your daily business plan. Be specific.
  2. Share information on volunteer hours. A lot of companies offer a fixed amount of hours each year for employees to volunteer or attend a volunteer event out of the office. If you have such a program, talk about it. If you don’t, consider starting one.
  3. Ask the candidate what they’re passionate about when it comes to giving back. This will show you care about them, but it will also give you an informal database for determining what is important to your employees.

One of the most powerful ways a company can drive change in our community and engage their employees is to hold a United Way workplace campaign. Donations to United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County have a direct impact on hundreds of thousands of people right in our own neighborhoods. It’s also easy for employees to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to make a difference first-hand. In fact, volunteer events can be tailor-made for specific organizations.

United Way doesn’t just focus on one category or one specific issue. United Way invests in 220 different programs with 110 local agencies. There is something for everyone to be passionate about.

Over 1,500 corporate partners and 50,000 donors in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties are already fighting for short-term relief and long-term success for people in our neighborhoods. Together, they are Living United. And they would love you to join them.

Here’s one final fact: Employees who engaged in corporate giving programs tend to have 75 percent longer tenures with the company.

And you know what that means for you: less interviewing.

Click here to learn more about a United Way Workplace Campaign.

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