Are employers balking at Generation Y candidates?

Generation Y is nearly as big as baby boomers, and since Yers started entering the workforce, this new cohort has been raising eyebrows. To be sure, your typical Gen Yer is very technologically savvy, resourceful, self-confident (uninhibited by the self-doubt of the older generations) and up to any challenge. They are creative, learn quickly and are not shy about contributing their opinions and suggestions.

But these revered aptitudes and attitudes come as a package deal. And the rest of the package seems to present a major challenge for many employers, and many older employees within those organizations. Gen Yers have been pampered, nurtured, had their self-esteem boosted, encouraged to question and challenge authority. They have a sense of entitlement, feel strongly about their work-life balance, and their free time is sacred. They are not compliant unless they are given a good enough reason to do things certain way; they get bored easily. They can be passionate about what they do, but they are high-maintenance when it comes to motivation. They want to have fun at work and truly enjoy their tasks; if not, they pack up and move on.

We did a study using our Career Motivation Test, and when we ran statistical analysis, these were the main motivators of Generation Y, as a group:

Primary Motivators
• Change and Variety
• Independence
• Creativity
• Learning
• Fun and Enjoyment

Secondary Motivators
• Power
• “Job-hopping” (little desire for stability, appreciate mobility)

Clearly, this generation has a lot of potential if you know how to harvest it. But they are not easy to manage, and run into conflicts with the boomers and even Gen Xers.

Now, as a recruiter, what do you do when an employer wants to stay clear of Gen Y candidates? Does that ever happen, and if it does, is it a direct request, or does it just transpire through their selective attention to candidates over 30?

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