They’ll make up 33 percent of the workforce by 2014. In fact, they comprise nearly one-third of all Americans living today (as estimated by the Harvard Business Review). They’re Generation Y: the offspring of Baby Boomers and the new crop of employees clamoring to the top.
I’ve said before that the job market has changed in favor of applicants. If you don’t believe it, try to quickly hire a Ruby on Rails developer in San Francisco. It won’t happen fast or inexpensively. As the economy slowly recovers, the hiring in technology companies has quickened. They’ll be competing for the best new talent, which means if you want a stake in this promising workforce, start paying attention to what the Gen – Y talent pool has to offer.
First, we need to alter our perceptions of today’s talent. Once you do, you will begin to see the positive characteristics of Gen-Y.
1) They’re redefining what makes a great place to work: Foosball tables…. oh so yesterday! They are looking for an opportunity to make an impact.
2) They are choosy, despite a tough job market. Strange? Not really. It’s up to you to be an employer of choice. Top talent out of top schools are highly recruited. That’s an easy one. The talent that will give you the best return on your hiring dollar may not be from a top school. They are driven, focused and have a competitive edge.
3) Certain attitudes, behaviors, and skills set them apart from Gen-X and make them highly valuable employees. What do I mean? Two words. Social media. They live it, know it and breathe it. It is in the enterprise and these workers can exploit it to business’ advantage. They are self-confident, socially connected, and digitally savvy.
4) They have a strong work ethic, but well-defined needs: “We’ll come in at 7 and stay until 8, but let us hit the gym at 11 if we want to.”
Alright, for those of you over 40…stop rolling your eyes. It took me a while to embrace what this prized population has to offer. I am now fully on board and I suggest that you jump on this train before your winded self gets left behind.
There are many good reasons to hire Generation Y. I will address all of these, and more, in later posts. There’s no doubt that investing in this unique group will pay off.
Hire them. They will work hard and make a positive impact on your business.