Generation Y (or the “Me Me Me Generation” as Time Magazine recently went with) has a reputation for being negative, lazy and selfish. Just about every generation has said this about their juniors – when times get tough, so do the critics. Let’s clarify exactly who we are talking about here and why you need a recruitment strategy for this specific group of candidates and fast.
Gen Y, sometimes referred to as millennial’s, are the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. They were born from the mid-eighties onwards and are likely to be the employee group that will take your clients organisation forward this century. You need them in your company.
The internet has changed everyone’s lives; but especially this group, who has never known life without the ability to be ‘plugged’ into the World Wide Web 24/7.
During an interview with a Gen Y, here are 3 areas in which you can seriously get into the core of what they care about when it comes to their career prospects.
1. Money and Skills
The perception among the newest wave of candidates is that they can demand the highest salaries because they have the highest-quality skills. The only way to question this perception is to introduce doubt to this train of thought.
To turn it around, focus on skills versus dollars. Candidate-poor job markets can create prospects who demand unrealistic dollars for marketable skills. The only weapon you have for this scenario is “skills versus dollars.” It goes like this:
- “I understand that $150,000 is your targeted salary for six years of experience, and that you arrived at $150,000 because a contractor is charging $75 an hour on your team. In your mind, you are better than a contractor. I get that.”
- “If you could add a different skill set on your next project, how much more marketable would that make you?”
- “Overall, you would consider a move for more skills and potentially less dollars if it was on a whole a better opportunity?”
2. Title and Promotion
The reason Gen-Y candidates feel they need promotions and raises is that they do not understand the downside to being promoted too quickly and given too much money. It is like a credit card; they will deal with the bill later. Your job is to explain to them explicitly what the repercussions will be of this form of career management.
- “Do you think that you can be promoted to a level that would be hard to reproduce if you lost your job? For example, could you graduate from business school and start immediately managing 10 people with no management experience?”
- “You know one of the things that I have noticed is that the last thing you want to be is overcompensated and under-qualified.”
- “In other words, always be in the middle of the market and at the top of the competency in your peer group. It gives you a lot of options. The last thing you want is a big title and a big salary and nothing to back it up. (All hat and no cattle!).”
3. Quality of Life and Fun
To turn it around, focus on the fun. Generation Y candidates actually require a chance to have fun. They can’t imagine all work and no play because they don’t perceive that they need to work very hard. They have productivity tools, they are connected, and they are loaded with options that let them do whatever they please.
In order to convey your understanding of this, profile what they want to do with their free time. In other words, what do they consider fun and a good quality of life? Ask them:
- “So you like to snowboard in Europe with your parents. That’s great.”
- “Did you know about our company’s paid time-off policy? Oh well, we really do work hard and play hard here. This is our vacation policy.”
- “Do you think you want to learn more about our work-life balance program? Great, let me send that to you.”
Content adapted from:
Cover Photo: Sheryl Teo for HackerTrail