Hiring Gen Y Employees
You may already work with several Gen Ys, but it’s a good idea to remember and understand what this generation values and expects before you hire additional team members.
All four generations in the workplace (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Ys) possess a work ethic, but work styles and expectations often differ significantly. Understanding how your organization aligns with (or contradicts) Gen Ys desired work style is an important consideration. If it’s not a good fit, the results will be low engagement levels, high turnover and a negative perception of your brand by others in their peer group.
Gen Y Employment Expectations
Gen Ys are accustomed to having their opinions solicited, listened to and acted upon. Most Gen Ys will be frank and open with you during the recruitment process about their expectations and desires. Don’t feel alarmed if it seems like they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them!
Gen Ys expect to have a work-life balance within their day. They’ve also grown up with technology and made it a part of their lives. This translates into a very fluid work style. You may find that Gen Ys often arrive to work ‘late,’ leave during the day to run errands, submit reports remotely and work from home at night.
This generation has challenged organizations to think about how work is structured and what it means for employees to demonstrate that they are performing. Having a job no longer means sitting at a desk in the office from nine to five.
Gen Ys are eager to add value in the workplace by offering new solutions and creatively leveraging technology. However, in some instances, Gen Ys don’t have sufficient background or experience to make suggestions that align to business goals. In their eagerness to add value and implement changes, they can sometimes unintentionally offend tenured team members. During the recruitment process, you’ll want to be clear and upfront about the level of involvement that new employees can expect in team decisions, as well as their scope of influence in driving change.
Making a Job Offer to Gen Ys
Here are 3 things to look out for when making a job offer to a Gen Y candidate:
- Does the Gen Y demonstrate an understanding of your workplace culture and structure? Gen Ys approach everyone as a peer, including senior leaders. A Gen Y who doesn’t understand the levels of hierarchy that may exist in your business and/or how to communicate at all levels appropriately won’t be good long-term fit.
- Does the Gen Y have friend who works for you already? Gen Ys select organizations where their friends work and where they can be part of a team of people they like and know. Either way, ask them what they know about your brand as an employer and what their perceptions are of your products / services.
- What are the Gen Y’s expectations for career development? Can you communicate a clear career path for them? Gen Ys expect organizations to invest in their learning and development. They also have expectations of rapid career growth. This can be a challenge if you can’t meet their desired timeline. Be sure to uncover the Gen Y candidate’s career expectations. Clearly communicate how long an employee must stay in a role, and/or what level of performance he or she must achieve, before being eligible for a promotion.