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Small Business Digest


How to Attract and Hire Generation Y Candidates

Companies today face a significant hiring overhang that will change the chemistry and corporate culture of many companies.

Particularly in the sales and service area, the nation is moving from staffers in the so-called Generation X to Generation Y employees. 

Generation Y includes those born between 1980 and 2003 and have nearly twice as many members as the earlier generation - Generation X, those born prior to 1979. 

"To stay competitive in today's marketplace, employers need to understand the characteristics of Generation Y candidates and recruit accordingly," advises Ann E. Zaslow-Rethaber of International Search Consultants (ISC), an executive search firm that specializes in the sales and marketing industry.

Here are a few suggestions on how to recruit for this new group of candidates:

Understand their characteristics - Members of Generation Y are confident, independent, socially conscious and comfortable with technology. They are career driven and when looking for a job, take a different approach then generations before them. Instead of asking themselves what companies are they qualified to work for, they ask themselves what companies they want to work for and go after those.

Get their attention with a strong recruiting message - since these are tech savvy candidates, recruiting and delivering information in a creative way via the internet is a must. These candidates have no problem being marketed to so be direct and hit home on the strengths of the company and position. Avoid misleading or false messages - straightforward is always best.

Offer flexibility - while this group in general is self motivated and hardworking, they want to have flexibility on the job. Companies can attract them by promoting such perks as flexible work schedules, telecommuting options, and casual dress code. Personal fulfillment opportunities rank higher in this group than do monetary rewards or richer benefit plans.

Tout a company's community involvement - these candidates want to make a difference not only on the job but in the world. Publicize efforts to improve the community or world such as participating in the green movement, giving to charities or sponsoring community events, for example.

Provide ample growth opportunities - because Generation Y members are more loyal to their careers than to their companies, be sure to highlight all opportunities for growth such as training, mentoring, and career advancement. In most cases, as long as they continue to learn and grow within a company, more than likely they will stay put for awhile.

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