Tom Cairns

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Gen Y is anxious to get in the game

Wednesday 11 November 2009 at 5:57 pm

Gen Y is anxious to get in the game.  How can companies help them?  It is one thing, in a down economy to have jobs disappearing for baby boomers and Gen X but at least they had them.  Gen Y is waiting for their turn.  What are they doing in the meantime, going to graduate school, traveling, hanging out at home, underemployed, or volunteering, etc?

The unemployment rate for Gen Y'ers in October 2009 was over 15% up significantly from 8% in April 2009.  Why is this rate so high?  Is there something happening that is contributing to this high unemployment rate other than fewer jobs?  Is it because companies are having difficulty recruiting Gen Y?  I believe there are fewer jobs and companies are having trouble attracting Gen Y.

Many have acknowledged the challenges of recruiting Gen Y.  They have a strong desire to work in jobs that develop their skills, provide personal fulfillment, flexibility, and work-life balance just to name a few.  The good news is money is not their primary motivator.  Maybe that is the problem. 

Companies are so accustomed to talking about salary and benefits that persuading a Gen Y'er that the work will be meaningful is another thing all together.  Here is the reality in most companies.  You have to earn your stripes, jump through hoops, and convince them to give you more responsibility sometime in the next 5 years.  Not surprising a non-starter for most Gen Y'ers, some may accept but not for long.  That paradigm has to change.

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