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US Generation Y: How to Manage and Recruit

Posted By Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on Monday, Mar 10, 2014

Recruiting US Generation Y - imageWe recently launched a new report, Generation Y and the World of Work, focusing on Gen Y in the US. We will be issuing a report on Canadian Generation Y in the coming months, so please stay tuned.

The objective of this survey  was to be able provide advice and guidance to our clients when they are recruiting Generation Y. The report was based on 1000 people in the US, born between 1983 and 1995, across 37 different states, all of whom who have American roots, as opposed to being new to the US.

Why we feel this topic is important and why we believe companies need to come to terms with what they are going to do about the change in attitudes, is because of the differences amongst leaders today. Leaders today are either baby boomers or generation X, and it is commonly accepted that there are differences between these generations and Gen Y. As a result, there is a need for change. We've learned from the findings from this study, approaches to management, retention and most significantly recruitment, will require change based on some pertinent differences. For example, one of the main differences is the want for feedback. To previous generations, including myself,  feedback is something that has typically been shied away from. Generation Y on the other hand welcome feedback. They actively are looking for feedback, not just from their bosses, but from colleagues and subordinates. Real, open and honest feedback, from all directions which transcends through all aspects of how they approach work - a key finding that we believe will require senior management to change their approaches.

For example, a key finding from this report and webinar  was that Generation Y wants to contribute as opposed to work. This doesn't mean that they don’t want to actually work but it does mean that they have a different expectation as to what work will give them.  This is about feeling their work is worth while, that it makes a difference to the company, to themselves and to the people they are helping. It means they are looking to be involved in the conversation. If we look at Facebook, why is Facebook so successful?  It's because it is communication in all directions and involves everyone. Generation Y wants work to feel like they feel in their private lives: involved, engaged, part of the dialogue, and making a difference.Through feedback they want to be contributing at work into the bigger picture - no matter what the work is, its about making an impact and being valued. As a result, traditional management styles of being allocators of work does not work well with this generation. Gen Y are looking for leaders/mentors, those that will help build and nurture their careers, not just allocate task lists.

In terms of recruitment, we can confidently say traditional methods of job advertising are having less of an impact and being less effective. Recruiting Gen Y means building a digital recruitment strategy. Social media, mobile and online tactics all need to work together to cohesively showcase not only the job, but the company culture, brand and full job offer. With technology advancing so quickly and being in a very much social time, job ads need to come to Gen Y; Gen Y won't go to the job ad. This means, when and where they are online, you need to ensure your job ads are strategically being promoted and showcased through multiple channels.

I encourage you to watch this short webinar on how to recruit Gen Y, and gain valuable information on how to develop an attractive job offer, what key management styles and aspects of the job will help retain Gen Y and the realities of recruiting in a digital age and what this will mean for your hiring plans.

As the leaders in recruitment we are aware, trained and experts in this field and are available to answer any questions you may have about tailoring your recruitment strategies to different demographics.

Request a copy of the Gen Y in the World of Work, US edition.

Watch the webinar on US Gen Y.


Learn more or request an interview with Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President.

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