Chicago is home to one of six Kenrich offices in the United States. The business and litigation consulting firm is a fast-growing company that appreciates the drive and determination that Generation Y employees bring to the workforce. To maximize the potential of its Gen Y employees, Kenrich takes note of how young professionals work best and have enhanced their workforce to reflect those needs.
Vice President Kim Reome says, “Gen Y-ers grew up working in teams in school and are comfortable in the team environment. They want to hear the opinions of others and want their opinions heard by the group. Gen Y-ers prefer not to perform their work alone, but rather prefer teamwork to make decisions and accomplish goals. That is one reason why Gen Y-ers do well at Kenrich. We are almost exclusively team driven.”
For Kenrich, it’s not just about making new hires feel welcome, it’s also about actively seeking young talent and recruiting them to join the consulting firm. Each Kenrich office partakes in the recruiting process at select universities and makes their presence known at various career fairs and networking events. The unique twist that Kenrich adds is that no recruiters have a hand in this process.
“If a student stops by our table at a career fair, they are not going to be talking to a recruiter. They are going to be able to have a conversation with someone like me, who actually knows what it is like to be a consultant at Kenrich. I think that really helps students understand our business and our culture,” says Manager Cassandra Bilson.
Young professionals who are able to begin their careers with Kenrich can feel confident in their abilities through the firm’s comprehensive training and development programs. The scope of this training ranges from informal learning opportunities with senior coworkers to a firm-wide training that takes place each year. The firm believes that the variety of trainings provided allow for more communication among workers.
“Kenrich wants to make sure that even though you may e-mail and talk on the phone with a co-worker in another office regularly, you also get the chance to interact with them on a personal level and really get to know them,” notes Reome.
The business and litigation consulting firm knows that relationships aren’t solely formed though professional interactions, they are solidified through social engagement. There is no shortage of company-sponsored social events for employees at Kenrich. The Chicago office hosts a wide range of events each year including holiday parties, cheering on the Cubbies at Wrigley and enjoying the sunshine at the Arlington Park Racetrack. And, of course, there are those spur-of-the-moment happy hours after work sponsored by the office.
Bilson adds, “I really enjoy the firm-wide training that we have each year. While we focus on industry specific training topics and communication skills in our structured trainings, we also have a lot of fun together. Each year we incorporate activities for employees to participate in together such as snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, beach volleyball, and golf.”
Kenrich is definitely a Chicago company that knows how to keep its Generation Y employees engaged, enriched and educated. Young professionals at the firm are thoroughly trained, always connected and encouraged to grow not only within their role, but with the company as well. Kenrich has an impressive retention rate with its employees and Bilson attributes this to the company’s ability to “defy the Gen Y trend of job-hopping.”
While Kenrich does hire individuals with experience in related industries, most of their staff is home grown. Bilson explains, “In Chicago, we have many Gen Y employees, myself included, that started their career here, enjoy the fast-paced, dynamic and challenging work that we do, and plan to continue to advance their careers here.”
I suppose you’re wondering, what is their secret to attracting Gen Y talent and keeping them satisfied? Beyond engaging recruiting activities, extensive training opportunities, social events and the challenging work, Reome notes that it’s also about presentation and how a company portrays itself online.
“It is critical that the online reputation of your company is exactly as you want it to be,” says Reome. “Gen Y candidates will use every bit of information available online to research a company they are interested in. It is important to dedicate ample resources to creating and maintaining a robust and useful company website.”