Generation “Y” Employment: The Candidate Perspective

Generation Y

Today, employment ads from recruiters and HR generalists are on the rise despite the current economic woes canvasing the nation. This is a good sign that the economy is starting to gradually improve in some areas.

As Generation Y (“Gen Y“) job candidates are an ever-growing part of the applicant pool for employment openings at corporations, companies may need to re-evaluate their Gen Y recruiting strategies to meet workforce demands.

Hasty Makes Wastey

Recruiting today seems to be a rush-job. And it usually looks takes a one-size-fits-all approach toward sizing up talent. To fulfill the open employment requisition, recruiters get a position description and scour the internet for a match. Recruiters find a CV (resume) that matches the position description and then simply send an often-canned, cold and generic email.

With this type of lackadaisical approach to finding talent, recruiting today has become less and less personalized.

Many companies do not embrace a diverse recruiting strategy that mirrors the current diverse pool of applicants. This approach is not always the best means to attract certain qualified talent, particularly Gen Y talent. I’ve seen minimal use of cross-generational recruiting because of the lack of a recruiting strategy and approach based on different demographics.

A Baby Boomer will not respond to the same style and approach of recruiting as a Gen-Y’er.

A Customized Approach

Generations view things differently and thus expect different ways of being recruited. With an ever-changing and more diverse workforce, recruiting must become more unique and customized if organizations wish to attract the best possible Gen Y talent.

So how do you properly hire and retain Gen Y talent?

The Right Steps

In order to get the best talent from the Gen y talent pool, follow these steps to make sure you are taking the appropriate approach to connecting in a manner that serves you and your candidates best.

First Contact

Gen Y values a personalized touch. A canned and generic email will often turn them off immediately to a potential new position. If sending an email inquiry to a potential Gen Y candidate, use their name, not “dear candidate.” Take the time to discuss why you think they may be a fit for the role as it relates to their own experience.

This lets them know you have actually reviewed their CV and job goals and not just mass emailed based on a keyword search. Gen Y also values details, so for the quickest possible response, include the job description, and why you see them as a fit in the first correspondence.


Gen Y is a tech-savvy generation. If first contact regarding a possible new role peaks their interest, they waste no time in responding. They utilize the technology at their finger tips (WiFi, Blackberry email etc.) to promptly express interest.

They expect the same in return.

If your organization has high interest in the candidate, then don’t let communication lapse. Respond proactively, promptly, and personalized with establish next steps.


Once the time for the first conversation has been set, use that time to set clear expectations with the potential Gen Y candidate. Take the time to explain in detail what they can expect in the new role and from the organization, and what would be expected of them. Be congruent, honest, and transparent about everything from salary and work life balance, to culture and roles and responsibilities.

Gen Y is very tuned into organizational culture.

One of the main reasons Gen Y talent tends to leave an organization within the first year is because what they were told they can expect is not the reality. Try and prevent this from the first conversation.


Be prepared for Gen Y to ask detailed questions regarding not just the potential role but the organization overall. Gen Y views interviewing as a two-way process. Often recruiters don’t have the specific information required to answer certain questions.

If this is the case, make sure the people the candidate interviews with are knowledgeable of the various parts of the organization and can answer specific questions.


If the process leads to making a job offer, then do not only do so in writing, but also make the personalized phone call. This call should come from the person who will be the candidate’s direct supervisor. Often disconnects exist between recruiting and the actual departments and managers who the employee will be working with.

Gen Y values open and honest communication in all directions.

Having the opportunity to speak directly with the individual they will be reporting to offers them the opportunity to begin to build a relationship immediately and get any last-minute questions and concerns addressed.

After the offer is accepted, the next step is a process called on-boarding, but it doesn’t end there. Recruitment is phase one, once the employee joins the organization focus must be placed on engagement and retention – success is an ongoing cycle.


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Scott Span
 is President of Tolero Solutions OD & Change Management firm
He helps clients be responsive, focused, and effective to facilitate sustainable growth
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One response to “Generation “Y” Employment: The Candidate Perspective

  1. Pingback: Gen Y Recruiting Tips: The Candidate Perspective. | Tolero Solutions·

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