What Gen Y Wants in the Workplace

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Speaking from experience, (I was born in 1987, in the beginning to middle of Millenials,)  I can say with authority, that Millenials can have interesting priorities at times. Salesforce Rypple created an infographic titled, “How Gen Y is Changing HR Departments.” If you’re currently looking to expand your Gen Y staffers, this infographic is definitely something you should look at. The data is somewhat surprising, and even more useful.

In a 2011 survey by Cisco, titled “Cisco Connected Technology Report”, Gen Y respondents made their priorities clear: Technology, flexibility, and freedom.

“One of every three students, and young employees believe internet is as important as air, food and shelter” The report states.

While the thought of twenty-somethings trying to survive in the woods with their laptops is admittedly amusing, in a sense, the one in three surveyed were right. Comparing the internet to survival necessities may be a stretch, but it’s undeniable that without the internet, Millenials would suffer a devastating loss to their quality of life. The web is a place for Millenials to be social, plan, work, create, and do pretty much anything else you can imagine. A life without it is truly unimaginable for those born into the internet age.

Flexibility and freedom are two other huge factors in crafting HR policies that will attract members of Gen Y. Two out of five surveyed by Cisco, said they would take less pay, in order to have more wiggle room in “device choice, social media access, and mobility.” These findings are very interesting and should prompt a change in the way HR creates policy, if they hope to attract Millenial employees.

So where’s HR at when it comes to accommodating the needs of this very different generation? While some steps have been made to attract Gen Y talent, most HR departments have a long way to go before they’re attracting Millenial candidates at full capacity. Half of HR departments think that their recruitment strategies are adequate for attracting Millenial candidates, but just over a quarter, think their current strategies are the “best practice”.

So it seems, in order to draw-in the best of Gen Y’s talent, HR has to be willing to change some of it’s practices to meet their needs. More flexibility with social media, allowing employees to use their own electronic devices, and being open to telecommuting when it makes sense, are all ways HR can help get high quality Millenial employees on their team. By 2025 Gen Y will make up approximately 75% of the work force. Changes to accommodate Gen Y are going to be made eventually, so you may as well be ahead of the curve.

Image By Red Box Design (User:Magdalens) [GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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