Digital marketplace: Welcoming Gen Y to the workforce

Digital marketplace: Welcoming Gen Y to the workforce

LinkedIn might be the number one recruiting website for reaching Generation X and older, but I recently learned that it works like number two (yes, my first blog ‘poo joke’) when it comes to reaching Generation Y.
More on that, in a moment.
According to a recent survey by Experience Inc., a top provider of career services for college grads and alumni, Gen Y remains confident in today’s challenging job market.
The survey showed that 50 percent of college students and recent grads feel the job outlook is still positive; 24 percent believe the job market is stronger than depicted by media; and 75 percent of Gen Y says the value of their education will increase or remain the same in this market. As someone who’s been interviewing prospects and trying to fill positions on my team at a Fortune 400 company, I applaud their attitude.
“The general confidence level of Millennials is much higher than that of the general population, which supports the notion that demographic shifts have created high demand for educated, entry-level talent – especially within the growth sectors of the global economy,” said Jenny Floren, Experience’s founder and CEO.
Hard Working
The survey also showed that Gen Y is willing to do what it takes to contribute to their own success — and the success of the companies they work for:

  • 30 percent are prepared to take on more projects or help colleagues with their work, so they can keep the positions they have;
  • 33 percent say they are willing to work more hours to improve job security; and
  • 44 percent rank job security as more important than personal job satisfaction.

I love many of the Gen X’er’s I’ve hired on marketing teams over the past decade…but I’d classify even THE BEST OF THEM (generously) as high maintenance.
Thought Leaders
If you compare the job networking site that Gen Y uses, Brazen Careerist, with LinkedIn (used by everyone else) it doesn’t take long to see principles describing in the survey come to life. Featured topics of Gen Y like Is your Ego Getting in Your Way? and What We Can Learn From Drive-Through Menus are a refreshing, low-key break.
Brazen Careerist attracts Gen Y (unlike LinkedIn) because it celebrates them. In the site’s own words:

“Generation Y is the generation born between 1981 and 2000. They are the largest of the four generations currently in the workforce, and they have been tagged as the next “civic” generation – poised to be the next great institution builders.

“The media often paints Generation Y in a negative light – citing high job turnover and impatience with paying dues as negative Gen Y traits. But we know better. We know that Generation Y does not want to job-hop every two years; we know that Generation Y will be the most productive generation in the history of the workforce, and we know that the single best way to connect with Generation Y is to meet them on their turf – online.”

Penelope Trunk, cofounder of Brazen Careerist, is anything but low key. She’s a impassioned advocate, evangelist, and career mentor to Gen Y. Traditional recruiting and job sites fail don’t work for Gen Y because they provide a marketplace of EXPERIENCE — which is limited supply among Gen Y. The alternative? Blogging.
“Anyone who wants to be at the top of their career should be blogging,” Trunk said. “Blogging is best way to get a job is to provide ONE PLACE where a potential employer can see your ideas.”
When it comes to blogging, Generation Y has the advantage. They are MORE WILLING and MORE ABLE to share their lives and ideas publicly with friends, family and employers. Good ideas can trump and good resumes. And, that the ideas of Gen Y are more attractive –and less self-serving– than the ideas of previous generations.

Troy Janisch, Publisher of Social Meteor, is a digital marketing professional and social media enthusiast. Previous projects? Until 2009, he was publisher of the Business Owner’s Toolkit and host of it’s nationally-syndicated radioshow of the same name.
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