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How to attract talents in the YOLO economy

Arno Yeramyan
August 9, 2022

Suppose you are a team leader in a company where there is a necessity to find creative freelancers, or a business owner who needs a novel talent management approach to attract skilled professionals. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to know a little bit more about what YOLO means and how to attract talented professionals in the YOLO economy. There is no doubt that major changes took place in the world over the last couple of years. Proportional to these changes, skilled talents started to drift away from more conventional forms of employment in pursuit of jobs that can give them the best work life balance.The post pandemic work trend we see millennials chase is sometimes also called the “YOLO economy”. But what exactly is the YOLO economy? More importantly, how can companies attract professionals in this new setting? Let’s take a deeper look at this new approach to employment practices and how companies can attract talents in the YOLO economy!

What is the YOLO economy?

Initially coined by the New York Times, ‘You Only Live Once [YOLO] Economy’ is fastly becoming one of the most popular post pandemic work trends. Being one of the latest employment practices, especially among millenials, the YOLO economy is all about not going with the usual flow of what is considered a safe career and taking risks to do what independent workers had been planning to do for a long time.In search of greater adaptability and flexibility at work, people who were formerly employed in a conventional manner are quitting their jobs, changing the mode of their work, switching to freelancing or starting their own business. It seems that from Asia to Europe and the Americas, the YOLO economy is becoming more and  more popular among solo workers. But why are suddenly countless professionals leaving their jobs and going after the career path that they had been dreaming of? Some of the possible reasons might be:

  • Mass retirements & resignations
  • Concerns about job security
  • Cultural/economic change
  • Failed/failing business models

What do YOLO talents think?

The sudden changes taking place during the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic was something everyone had to adapt to. Amid these turbulent timesabout 40% of the global workforce started to think about quitting their jobs. About one quarter of employees in the UK expressed that they experienced burnout symptoms.But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Innumerable employees and professionals realized that they wanted to pursue their desires and wishes instead of being stuck at a workplace where they felt overstressed and overworked. So what can companies do in terms of hiring and talent management to attract professionals into their workplace?

What can companies do to attract YOLO talents?

Working with millennials and YOLO talents probably means that your company will need to adopt certain talent management and talent acquisition strategies that can respond to the necessities of the YOLO economy. Devising certain aspects and dimensions of your company by making it more compatible with the dynamics of the YOLO market should probably be the guiding principle of the entire effort. Some measures that you can take in order to make your company more attractive to YOLO talents are:

  • Revising your company’s vision and mission
  • Adopting a proactive approach in recruitment
  • Implementing remote and hybrid modes of employment
  • Put policies and culture principles that praise autonomy into practice
  • Offer training opportunities to talents
  • Take care of your talents’ mental health and well being
  • Pay attention to diversity and inclusivity

Review your company’s vision & mission

Do you remember the old days when people were just expected to show up at work on time, do what they needed to do and then leave the office? Well those days are over. In today’s work culture, a company is more than a workplace that provides employment to employees. In today’s world, companies are spaces that are more comprehensive in terms of labor, education, personal growth, socialization and culture.Taking these new indicators of what a good and successful company should be like, try reviewing your company’s vision and mission. It is important to make your company more attractive to millenials and new generations through other forms of engagement.Successful companies are not the way they are just because the product or the service they offer is the best in the market, they are successful also because they have a vision and a mission that sets them apart from all of their competitors in the market.

Be proactive in recruitment and reach out

Before, employers were not expected to go after the talents they wanted on board. It was seen as the responsibility of the potential talent to express an interest in the job listing and go after it themselves. While that is still mostly the case, a new and more proactive method of recruitment is also gaining popularity among major companies and corporations.Recruitment trends are in constant evolution. Talent acquisition techniques of today’s business environment include reaching out to possible freelancers and remote workers through online platforms and mutual contacts to see if the potential candidate is willing to work with them.Try adopting this approach in your company if you want to include YOLO talents in your business. Instead of waiting for them to show up, put your company out there and search for the talent you want to hire.

Implement and provide remote/hybrid working conditions

It is important to accommodate different lifestyles and living situations in the workplace, whether it is an actual office or a virtual one. Especially after the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible work arrangements have been implemented by employers fast and adopted even faster by the employees and solo workers.If you wish to attract talents in the YOLO economy, adaptability and flexibility at work should be two of the key principles that guide your business. Putting forward certain flexible work policies and granting your talents the right to choose among remote and hybrid work options will not only help you keep a competitive edge in the marketplace, but also demonstrate that you are open to implementing new and innovative workplace arrangements in your company.

Organize well and value autonomy

Keep in mind that one of the most important reasons why many professionals choose to operate within the realm of the YOLO economy is that they are overwhelmed by their prior working arrangements which probably failed to give them the autonomy and individual space that they needed. That’s why, any company that wants to attract YOLO talents and make them a permanent part of their business should value the autonomy of the talents.Bring in certain policy changes in your company such as adapting to practices of asynchronous working and flexible schedules. This, in return, will boost the autonomy culture and freedom resulting in more productivity. Remember that work-life balance is one of the most important things to the new generation that embraces the YOLO economy.

Offer training opportunities

Lifelong training, acquisition as well as development of skills in a continuous manner is a must in today’s business culture. Make sure you offer the best of recent training opportunities to your YOLO talents.This way, a paycheck at the end of each month or each gig will not be the only thing that you can offer them. Having access to a wide repertoire of training opportunities will make YOLO talents appreciate your company as an institution where they can learn and grow.

Pay attention to talents’ mental health

Paying attention to the mental health as well as the wellbeing of your talents should be one of your priorities. To avoid burnouts and other psychological challenges like financial anxiety, your talents need a safe space where their mental health is cared for. Be on the watch for certain opportunities and management practices to ensure the wellbeing of your employees.

Value diversity and inclusivity

Everyone is entitled to be a part of a diverse and inclusive work environment regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation; linguistic, ethnic or racial identity. Make sure that your business is sensitive towards diversity and inclusivity and that people’s differences are respected and treated in the right way. The more diverse and inclusive a company is, the safer talents feel about their working environment.

Finding a place for your company in the YOLO economy

While companies face the risk of coming across certain financial uncertainties in the upcoming times, these recruiting trends will help them get the right talents on board and turn the YOLO economy into an opportunity.By focusing on the needs and wishes of the talents you want to reach and acquire, it is possible to attract this new and dynamic segment of the workforce into your business. The important thing to remember here is to keep an open mind to new trends, be willing to learn about this new culture and respect the choices of your prospective talents.


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