We all know who they are, those Generation Y’s, born 1980 and above, demanding, sees no issue with wearing pajamas to the grocery store, and above all, LAZY, right? We know they are lazy because they spend all day doing Facebook, Pinterest, updating Twitter, and obviously avoiding work- well maybe, but maybe not. Unfortunately, for those of you who would like to just create a blanket no hiring policy for this demographic (20 and 30 something’s are not a protected class, not for that reason anyhow) you just will not be able to afford to avoid this group, they account for 30% of the total working population.
This is a pretty tough stereotype, but one thing that is a fact for these 20 and 30 something’s is that they all grew up with technology, the way the prior generations did not. This is engrained in their culture, in the way they learn and they way they think. It doesn’t mean as a manager you are not upset to find them updating Facebook when you pass their cubicle – but it does mean you maybe should stop and ask yourself – how is it they have their work done today and had time left to update Facebook?
The fact is, they may be working more efficiently than your other employees, not because they are more driven or more committed than your more tenured experts in the organization, but they approach work differently. They bring with them new ways of doing things because that is how they seek things (products, services) out for themselves. Research is no longer hours long in a library, but rather a few clicks away on Google. A few more minutes to run some numbers and validate what you have read and boom, you are done, they have never had to adopt this model, this is all they know and this is why they have never had to adjust to the learning curve of engraining technology into your business.
Working efficiently has become a new wave of interest to many employers in today’s economy to drive business, as you have to improve output (and buying demand) or reduce expenses (lower the cost of doing business). As this buzz becomes more of the norm, look to that group of employees that you may already have driving efficiency into your service or production delivery, are they doing it at the same quality level but more quickly? Ask them, how it is they have achieved this approach, let them share their best practices to drive their strategy or way of doing business into your process. Better yet, maybe they can use some of their Facebook time to train some of the other employees on the new process to achieve results. If you look across your team and don’t see any of these Generation Y’er’s on staff, have you avoided hiring them for this same stereotype? Are you missing out on an opportunity to bring in talent that can add ideas and possibly efficiencies into your process? They are, as you are aware, technologically savvy and can possibly show you more innovative or effective ways of driving your process. If nothing else, they can help Facebook positive organizational messages to the public, and that has to count for something.
This post was written by Jessica Bacher. With extensive experience as a recruiting operations manager, Jessica has provided strategic planning and consultation to leading health care, call center, retail, telecommunications and government clients worldwide, and has led complex initiatives for Fortune 500 organizations. In 2010 and 2011, the Electronic Recruiting Exchange, the largest recruiting intelligence community, recognized her branding and digital solutions work, and Jessica was awarded the Creative Excellence Award for her work in employment branding for Latin America. Learn more about Jessica.