If you’re an HR recruiter, ask the Generation Y employee what they want and the answer might surprise you. Generation Y, or Millenials, are entering the workforce now, and they have a completely different set of criteria than employees of the past. Although Generation Y is undefined, it’s generally agreed that it’s those who were born between the early 80s to the 2000s, so the oldest Gen Y member is just reaching the age of 30. This is a group that may or may not remember the world without the internet and uses social media in both their private and professional lives. So what perks would a Gen Y want?
Most likely, the first thing that the Gen Y would say is that he/she wants freedom from the office, meaning the 9-5 requirement is probably a no-go. Gen Y’s are more than willing to work hard, but they want to set their own hours. They don’t want to come to the office for 8 hours a day because they feel it is unproductive. They want access to their office’s network, so they can work when they see fit. This means IT needs to have a good cloud system in place, so employees can access key applications and data at all times. It also means something like a VoIP business phone system would be advantageous as well. With a VoIP business phone system, employees can reach anyone in the business as long as they have an internet connection and even Burger King has WIFI nowadays so this isn’t a problem.
Additionally, because Gen Y employees want a good work-life balance, they also want a company that they feel is responsible. By responsible that means a company that values philanthropy and is doing their part to better the world. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, wrote about this and referred to this type of company as a high trust organization. Gen Y employees want their company to have a higher purpose so that they are not only making money, they are leaving legacy. Gone are the days of the for-profit only companies. Companies today need to be good citizens as well in order to attract the best Gen Y employees.
So there you go – it’s not like it used to be. While good pay and benefits are certainly nice, the Gen Y employee is a different kind of employee. He/she wants a good work-life balance, the ability to dictate hours and a company that he/she can be proud of. Are you willing to be that employer?
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Brendan Kenny is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @Beekayyyyyy.