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Making Wisconsin a workforce destination

Monday, January 08, 2018

Local business leaders talk attracting millennials, veterans

With industries facing tough waters recruiting qualified employees, local business leaders gathered one morning at Country Springs Hotel and Conference Center to talk about how best to attract millennials and other talent pools.

What they learned is that while there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the key is to get their story out to workers about what their workplace, and their community, has to offer.

Organized by the Waukesha County Business Alliance, the event featured a panel discussion with industry experts, and was capped by a keynote address by Tricia Braun.

The chief operating officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Braun gave the gathering a glimpse into the agency’s new marketing campaign aimed at attracting and retaining Midwestern millennials, alumni from the state’s universities, and veterans.

The WEDC has already earmarked about $1 million of its own funds to target those groups in Chicago, but Gov. Scott Walker has called on lawmakers to approve another $6.8 million to expand those efforts to other Midwestern cities, like Detroit and Minneapolis.

Setting your workplace apart

For Kelly Renz, president and CEO of The Novo Group, which helps industries with recruiting, the key to solving what she called the “gap in talent” is setting your workplace apart.

“I just read some statistics and some studies around technical talent, IT and engineering, and in five years there will be three jobs for everyone with a person with that talent set,” said Renz, speaking during the panel discussion.

“As an organization, if you are not differentiating yourself enough, making yourself unique enough to attract the talent that you need, you need to do it now.”

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