People to People

Best practices in recruiting: look close to home, offer flexibility

Fall 2013

Among 13 major industry sectors, utilities employ the highest number of baby boomers as a percentage of their total workforce, said Carl Mycoff, managing director of Mycoff, Fry & Prouse, an executive recruitment firm.  Nearly 60 percent of employees at utilities are boomers, he said. He shared this observation during a presentation in September at APPA’s Business & Financial Conference in Orlando, Fla.
As industry veterans retire, utility human resource professionals must confront the need to recruit the next generation workforce. Generation X workers are in limited supply and are difficult to attract and retain, Mycoff said. 
Competitive compensation is essential, he said.  Public power utilities need to set salaries and benefits at levels sufficient to compete with all utilities.  
"Does public power want to be a farm club for other sectors of the industry?" he asked. 
Beyond compensation, Generation X workers are attracted by flexible working conditions.  They like and expect to be able to work remotely, when possible.  They want flexible work and vacation schedules, cafeteria benefits and portable fringe benefits, Mycoff said.  They also want to enjoy their work.
Nearly half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of their birthplace, Mycoff noted.  This is a key positive recruiting factor for public power utilities.


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