How "Old School" Companies & Industries Are Working to Attract "New School" Talent

This post is part of a sponsored campaign we're participating in with Wells Fargo. I'm a compensated contributor, but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

I recently caught up with an old pal from my early days as a newspaper reporter. She was a week away from starting a new communications job at an energetic technical consulting firm known for its lunch hour Guitar Hero tournaments, keg-o-rater in the break room and unlimited vacation time. (Yep, that’s right. Take vacation when you want, where you want … so long as you get your work done.)

While excited about her pending role, my friend was admittedly a bit taken aback by all of the perks and programs that employers now offer, in part to entice fresh, millennial talent. (She’s now even contemplating adopting a dog because, duh, employees get to bring their dogs to work every Friday.)

“I’ve worked in boring old companies for so long that I’m not even sure what ‘normal’ is today,” she admitted. “But if normal looks like this? I really think I can get on board with it.”

At age 40, she’s not used to these cool, contemporary offerings provided by her new employer, but she’s sure liking what she sees. She’s also noted that, for her younger peers, this sort of perks-to-the-hilt, super engaging work environment isn’t a “hey-I-could-get-used-to-this” surprise; it’s becoming an expected part of the deal.

Employers are fast beginning to realize this – and not just the young, slick tech firms at which you’d expect to find free-flowing snacks and lunch hour yoga classes. Even established, “old school” corporations (think long-standing financial institutions, manufacturers and large accounting firms) are making notable moves as they work to attract fresh energy and talent.

One example of this can be found at Wells Fargo, a multinational financial services firm founded in 1852. While you admittedly won’t find free-flowing beer in the cafeteria here, the bank has made several notable moves to engage and entice a younger workforce.

Among these moves, the company has accelerated its efforts to provide employees with opportunities to get involved in the communities that they love and work in. (Did I mention most of the volunteer time is paid, as the company is also very focused on providing their employees with a healthy work-life balance?)

 “This was an easy move for Wells Fargo, because we’ve had a longstanding commitment to supporting our local communities,” said Aaron Kraljev, VP of Employer Brand & Candidate Advocacy for Wells Fargo. “But we’ve placed even more emphasis on it in recent years, in part, because we realize that millennials really appreciate having opportunity to socialize with their peers, while also lending a hand to the people in their neighborhoods.”

Additionally, the company consistently demonstrates its commitment to equality, dedication to diversity and appreciation for veterans who have served our country, —all of which align with the values that millennials report as highly important to them, and things they deliberately seek out in an employer.

Wells Fargo today also offers a variety of emerging-professional-focused perks, such as a robust 401K match, paid time off (including those community service days), a hearty tuition reimbursement benefit, and a well-oiled internship program, with opportunities for both undergrads and those pursuing an MBA.

And, while it may not be pedicures in the break room (ok, ew), Kraljev said employees and new hires are responding incredibly well to the new face of this 164-year-old bank.

“We’re laser-focused on providing our team members – both new hires and our long-time employees – perks, and an all-around culture, that are authentic, useful and meaningful to them. And so far, it seems to be working.”

So, the moral of this story is this: If you’re looking to find a job at a company with great perks and strong culture, don’t rule out older, more established players like Wells Fargo. (And, if you’re interested in checking out their current openings? Right here, mates.)

Photo: Creative Commons (Jens Karlsson)