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Generation Y – defined as those born between 1980 and 1997 – represents the future of the workforce.  They are also very different from previous generations, and come with both unique strengths and challenges for employers.  Understanding these characteristics and how they translate to the workplace is key to attracting and getting the most out of these employees.

Here are some characteristics of members of Gen Y and how they translate to the workplace.

  1. Goal Oriented. Gen Y’ers have grown up with standardized tests, rankings lists, incredibly high competition from peers for school and jobs, and parents with defined expectations.  They define success through clearly identifiable goals.  When it comes to the workplace, this means creating a training program with clear expectations and a defined role.  It also means providing a competitive salary, with bonuses or other rewards for meeting certain defined benchmarks.
  2. Multitaskers. In their quest to achieve their goals, Gen Y’ers have learned to take on a lot of different tasks in a small amount of time.  They have gone from being shuffled from one activity to the next as kids, to balancing schoolwork, jobs and extra-curricular activities as young adults. At the same time, they have been encouraged to seek out interests and hobbies and to find something they enjoy doing. Translated to the workplace, this means that Gen Y’ers are excellent multi-taskers.  They seek out and are able to balance multiple, varied tasks at once.  At the same time, it means they are likely to get bored if given the same task to do for too long.  It also means they will have interests outside of work, so allowing them flexibility and a work-life balance is important.
  3. Tech Focused.  Gen Y’ers are children of the digital age.  They get their news and entertainment instantly.  They are in constant contact with friends and family.  They share every aspect of their lives through social media. Because of this, Gen Y’ers tend to be very sociable and thrive in collaborative settings.  They also expect instant and continuous feedback on their work.
  4. Confident.  Gen Y’ers have grown up being told they can be anything they want to be.  They are supremely self-confident, even seeming entitled to some. This means they will not be afraid to speak their mind and contribute ideas in meetings or take on any number of difficult tasks. It also means they will not take kindly to overly negative feedback or being told they cannot do a particular task.

Overall, Generation Y enters the workforce with a unique set of characteristics.  Staffing firms like Job Store Staffing are a great place to get started leveraging this and other aspects of the talent pool.  If you are looking to hire young professionals in Denver, contact us today!

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