Old time baby boomers like me sometimes have difficulty understanding the needs of the next generation. I seem to remember my elders saying roughly the same thing.
UK graduate unemployment is currently running at 44% which is alarmingly high. I’m sure this won’t always be the case over the coming months, and despite this figure, there is still a war for talent amongst the brands for the best graduates. This is where employer branding comes in. I translate this to making sure that you look like an o.k. place to work to the outside world, and that you have something funky about you that makes you attractive. That could be your development programme, your attitude towards flexible working, your product looking fairly sexy in the crowd, it could even be your attitude towards social media and how open you are towards its use. Increasingly green credentials and your ethical position on certain issues are involved in the decision of just who is the employer of choice to the Gen Y star. The reality is the in demand candidates in the Gen Y age bracket are choosing you, and not the other way around. They go for brands that they know and respect, who they have come across and have the right kind of footprint. All sounds a bit wooly? Ask yourself how you stack up against other employers on the following 7 indicators: (This is not a scientific pole, but the top 6 taken from a twitter snapshot and i got over 40 replies from tweeters under 27.)
1: A nice place to work
2: Innovative concepts
3: Status of role
4: Development programme
5: Ethical standards aligned with own beliefs
6: Freedom to work autonomously
Interesting stuff and very different from the list that would have been drawn up if we asked the same question 10 years ago.
The message you give out about your business via your social media, PR and how you sell yourself will be key in attracting the best talent.
Despite popular opinion, i don’t think Gen Y work any less, i just think they work differently. They don’t expect to have to be in the office for 12 hours a day, but they are happy to put the hours in by making use of modern technology, and think nothing of being on Facebook or twitter late in to the night. Make them proud to be associated with you and they will promote your brand, while promoting their own. Personal branding v corporate branding is another area you could be on a collision course. You have to accept that personal brands now grow bigger and better known than the corporate band. Issues over ownership of network and trust will cause issues so it is best to pre-empt them from the start with a clear strategy.
The Gen Y track at The Recruiting Unconference is being run by Lucian Tarnowski who at the age of 25 runs Brave New Talent, a business that brings the employers to the talent via social-media, rather than the other way around. If you want to know about how to attract, source or even manage Gen Y, what better way to find out than to talk and question someone from that generation. To add to the conversation in this key area we will also be hosting a one hour debate over lunch: “This house believes that work and recruiting will need to change to suit Gen Y,” with teams led by Lucian and Alan Whitford from R.C. Europe. This promises to be lively, amusing and above all else insightful in to how Gen Y think.
As a monday extra, heres #Trulondon5; Generation Y! Enjoy!