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Hiring new employees: 10 attributes candidates want in employers

It’s a new year and the start of the hiring season. If you plan on hiring new employees to help take your business to new heights, there are a few things you should know about today’s talent pool.

First, millennials (those aged between 19 and 35) are now in the workforce and they are growing in numbers.

Secondly, these millennials want more from the work experience than their predecessors. Benefits are great, but millennials want to gain more intrinsic value from the work they do.

So, how do you compete with the competition when they are hiring new employees with skills your business needs?

In this blog post, we look at 10 characteristics that will make your business look more attractive to potential candidates.

A note on hiring new employees and your company culture

The following characteristics are not born overnight. They take time to cultivate, but once you start building on them, they have a way of growing on people.

1. Open-door policy

Open plan working spaces are common today, but sharing an open workspace doesn’t mean that your business practices an open-door policy.

Here’s how the Cambridge Dictionary defines open-door policy:


Does your business have an open-door policy? Is your leadership team truly receptive to discussing all problems?

2. A culture of creative problem solving

Most of your business’s new ideas will come from people on the frontline because they’re closest to your customers and experience more challenges more frequently.

In Screw It, Let’s Do It, Richard Branson shares why he constantly asks his team for advice on how his businesses can perform better.

Does your business foster creative problem solving?

3. An exciting recognition programme

Most businesses have employee recognition programmes, but they’re typically based on old ideas like gift cards or a new TV for top performance.

Today, when hiring new employees that form part of the millennial age group, you should know that more variety and freedom to choose their rewards matters.

At TuYu, we give employers the opportunity to reward staff with cash paid directly to their mobile phones. Employees can then spend their rewards at over 70,000 till lanes in South Africa on anything from furniture to dinner with the family or petrol.


Does your company have a competitive employee recognition programme?

4. Updates on the state of the business

Business happens faster today than it did five years ago. Marvels such as the internet and broadband connections make it easier for your customers to shop for competitive solutions, all before you have a chance to make a case for your business.

Similarly, staff want to be updated on the direction of the business as it changes, and that’s a good thing. More insight into your company’s challenges (internal and external) means more minds working together to find solutions.

How does your business keep staff in the loop?

5. Engagement

In a recent study by Gallup, results showed that 60% of millennials are open to new job opportunities, and that they are the least engaged in the workplace.


Low job engagement is a silent killer of business growth, and with more millennials entering the workforce, it’s a serious problem that you must solve within your business.

How are you finding ways to engage your staff?

6. Health and wellness programmes

Medical aid benefits often come with gym membership offers at discounted rates, but being healthy doesn’t start and stop when you hit the gym.

Staff want to join companies that take good health seriously. Common perks which help achieve this are:

  • Fruit baskets placed in your canteen, kitchen or around the office

  • Ergonomic chairs and desks

  • Adequate office lighting

  • Quiet spaces where staff can break away to recharge

How is your business supporting healthier habits?

7. Meal incentive programmes

Meal incentive programmes are more common today as they show staff that the company cares about them. Another benefit is that staff who share meals foster stronger relationships and work better together.

TuYu makes it possible for companies to manage meal programmes with weekly payouts to staff. Employees can then purchase meals of their choice from any of our supermarket or restaurant retail partners. Learn more here >>

8. Regular feedback from line managers and the C-suite

Feedback from leadership on performance is a big deal for staff, but few employees ever receive enough, and the stats are scary!

According to a study by Westminster College, 69% of the respondents said they’d work harder if they felt their efforts were appreciated, and 52% were dissatisfied with the recognition they received for their hard work.

Does your leadership team take the time to give feedback?

9. Autonomy

Autonomy in the workplace refers to the amount of freedom employees have while working. In some businesses, this means staff can set their own schedules and choose how their work can be done, just as long as results are delivered when expected.

Note: this doesn’t necessarily mean that people wish to work from home; they just want to have more control over what they do and how they do it.

How does your business provide staff with more autonomy?

10. Company events that foster team bonding

It’s common practice to have open bars on Friday afternoons, yet few businesses grasp why those are helpful. Informal gatherings such as Friday drinks afford staff the opportunity to connect and unwind after a long week, while developing relationships with work colleagues.

How does your business foster stronger employee relationships?


Hiring new employees is about creating a business that’s built on great values, just as much as it is about finding the right talent. As more millennials join the workforce, make sure that your business is positioned to attract and retain the very best staff.

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