Tuesday, September 6, 2011

HR Advantages of Targeting Gen Y (Guest Blog)

Generation Y is having a major impact on today’s workforce. People of this generation – those born between 1977 and 1994 – have grown up with technology and are accustomed to being digitally connected around the clock. Their skills are unique, but may also present some potential workplace challenges for employers. Given the right work environment, a clear job description and plenty of opportunity to be creative, Gen Y workers can be an excellent addition to any company’s workforce.

Strengths of Gen Y
  • This is the first generation to have grown up with the internet, so most Gen Y-ers are comfortable with technology. Gen Y can often embrace changes quickly and without anxiety. They can navigate social media easily and are often enthusiastic about sharing this knowledge with older colleagues.
  • Gen Y is accustomed to using several types of technology at once, since many have been multitasking from a young age. Most are capable of handling several tasks at once without feeling overwhelmed.
  • For many Gen Y members, personal achievement is a great source of motivation. They are often adept at creating and working towards their own as well as their company’s goals. Gen Y tends to be confident in their strengths and abilities.
  • Generation Y is also community oriented. Most have logged many community service hours during their high school and college years, making volunteering and serving others a part of their skill set.
  • Often, employers will discover that their Gen Y workers love a good challenge. Many will embrace a competitive environment and difficult assignments that come their way.
How to Target Generation Y
  • Clear expectations and specific feedback work well with Gen Y-ers. They are usually open to learning from their mistakes and are willing to accept constructive criticism as an opportunity to learn and advance in their career.
  • Gen Y workers want to use technology, social media and digital opportunities at work. Employers should be willing to embrace the use of technology and take advantage of this knowledge. Allowing Gen Y workers to access technology can allow them to work more efficiently.
  • Companies should consider adding more social events and fun to the calendar. Gen Y members love to work and play, so by expanding the company’s culture, employers are even more likely to attract the younger generation.
  • Another way to draw younger employees is to adjust certain policies, such as the dress code, scheduling and work space. Even if it is not possible to cater to all of these things, a little flexibility can go a long way when it comes to targeting Gen Y!
Companies certainly don’t need to turn everything upside down in order to cater to potential Generation Y workers. However, in order to get the most of Gen Y’s unique talents and potential long-term commitment, employers do need to understand and acknowledge some of the more marked differences in this generation. Small gestures that let Gen Y-ers know employers value their contributions and ideas will be richly rewarded.

This article was sent in by University Alliance and submitted on behalf of Villanova University’s online programs. Villanova offers an online masters in human resources degree program in addition to HR certification courses. For more information please visit http://www.villanovau.com.


  1. I have a teen in my house...and I can totally relate to what you said! They are great multitaskers and need a little freedom in what they wear and do!

  2. If you are interested in having your brand reach Generation Y let Compassed help you! Come watch our Generation Y video at http://www.getgeny.com/ and contact us!