With the global race for talent intensifying, the need for organisations to attract and retain the best new talent has never been so important. Although unemployment figures continue to rise, especially amongst generation Y (people born between the mid-eighties and mid-nineties), a skills shortage still exists within competitive and growing sectors such as IT, technology and creative industries, signalling a need for businesses to engage with the emerging young talent. Businesses are increasingly aware of this need as by 2025, members of generation Y will make up 70 per cent of the global workforce, according to BPW Foundation’s study.
However, when it comes to hiring the best of generation Y, companies are struggling. Consulting firm, Anna Ivey, believes that managers find it hard to discover the best ways to recruit, manage, and retain generation Y. Why? Because many don’t understand what makes them tick.
But how can you connect with Generation Y?
Graduates from the 21st century grew up with a high level of interactive stimulation – think TV, video games and the internet, which opened the door to the social websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This upbringing means that gen Y has learnt to interact by the click of a button resulting in a surging growth in digital and social media skills.
This creates the need for new approaches to recruitment, which are experience-based, responsive, and centred on relationship recruitment. Our research shows early recruitment-related activities are indirectly related to intentions and decisions through two dimensions of employer brand image: general attitudes toward the company and perceived job attributes. Employer branding can therefore significantly influence a candidate’s decision.
Also, many companies have common misconceptions of gen Y, which include: “Gen Y does not take its work seriously and neglects it for personal matters”; and “Gen Y expects instant promotion”. In fact, most graduates believe they will have to work even harder than previous generations, but value a healthy work/life balance, which they take into consideration when researching for roles.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to turn your attention to this new emerging group and explore how you can engage with its most talented members.
- Embrace online engagement – a dedicated recruitment microsite is essential. Employ other popular channels such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and regularly communicate creative content that will give the impression of a young, dynamic and creative environment.
- A high quality website, a simple application process, and rapid contact with recruiters are key. The internet and Social Media have had a huge impact on gen Y’s expectations growing up, and for them it’s about experiencing the combination of functionality and fun that they are used to on these other platforms
- Understand the profile of gen Y targets, and do not be swayed by common preconceptions about this generation – you’ll find a fuller understanding of their motivations and attitudes will go a long way
In the changing landscape of graduate recruitment, the more you understand this new generation the more you will be able to draw on its multitude of talents for your organisation’s success. Read more about engaging with generation Y in our dedicated whitepaper.