“Gen Y” or “Millennials” have had a pretty raw deal when it comes to reputation. The common perception is that they are self-entitled, flighty, demanding and are addicted to their smartphones.
But is this really the full story?
With Gen Y representing the most highly educated group to ever enter the workforce, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why a Gen Y hire might not be such a bad idea after all.
Whilst Gen Ys have a reputation for being job-hoppers, they are also known for being passionate about what they do. A job is more than just a wage to the Millennials, they are ambitious and want to make a real difference, coming to the table with lots of ideas and fresh, new ways of working.
It is no surprise that the companies that have a solid onboarding process, including a way of measuring engagement for the first three months of employment, manage to retain staff for longer. This is supported by our own 2017 Market Trends report.
Therefore, in order to keep Millennials engaged from the get-go, employers should set clear goals and targets on how they can achieve the next step in their career. Allow them opportunities to lead teams and develop their skills and in return, you will often find that you retain their interest.
They Need Constant Praise
Another common perception of Gen Y is that they are in need of constant feedback. Whilst this might be true, they are also the generation that is used to voicing their own opinions. This can be a fantastic way for a business to find out how they are truly operating from the ground up.
Gen Ys are also very receptive to the idea of mentoring at work. Formal mentorship programs have sprung up in a number of Fortune 500 companies as part of their onboarding process, and for good reason too! Mentorship is an excellent tool for succession planning for a business and a workforce that buys into this will no doubt make strong leaders for the future.
A Millennial looking for flexible working arrangements can sometimes come across as self-entitled. However flexible working isn’t always a bad idea. With Millennials being more tech-savvy than previous generations, they are much more accessible too. Smartphones nowadays offer a way of keeping in touch with the office whenever and wherever you are, and Millennials use this to their advantage.
Our 2017 Market Trends report has shown that flexible working is fast becoming one of the most important reasons for candidates looking to change jobs. The companies that have an open view on flexible working, whether that means working from home or adjusting start and finish times, are attracting the best talent and are retaining engaged individuals that feel valued in their roles.
Gen Ys are the generation of instant information. Whilst this may look like a negative and come across as demanding, it also means they are very self-sufficient. Most Gen Y’ers will try a fix a problem themselves, utilising the power of Google, before seeking assistance.
They adapt to new technologies and digital trends quickly and have been born into the era of Social Media, documenting their lives out in the open. Social Media is a fantastic way of leveraging new opportunities whether it is hiring someone who is comfortable building their own brand or managing yours across these platforms.
Having grown up in a multi-cultural and multi-faceted society, Gen Ys are fiercely inclusive. They are good at finding common ground between people and tend to be respectful and open to different cultural perspectives.
Studies show that Millennials are likely to build culturally competent teams that ignore race, gender, sexual orientation, age and physical disabilities, among other characteristics. This diversity of perspectives can drive stronger decision-making and should be encouraged in any business.
In summary, Gen Y or Millennial hires may not be the first choice for some businesses due to the traits mentioned above. However, in the right environment, these traits can be turned into positives and become extremely valuable to a business.
They are driven, technologically competent, focused and are always looking for a challenge. Not to mention culturally accepting and enthusiastic.
Whatever your opinion is on this generation, one thing that is certain – they are our future workforce. By 2025 Gen Y will make up approximately 75% of the world’s workforce, and with technology and business moving forward at such a rapid rate, it’s worth looking into how we can attract and retain these workers.