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Want to Hire Generation Y? Rethink Your Corporate Cubicles

genyRemember when people didn’t start their own businesses until they were at least out of high school? Not so for Generation Y. According to a recent study, the Millennials start young: Some reported starting their own businesses as early as 13.

Nearly 50 percent started or planned to start businesses at some point during their lifetime. This isn’t surprising, when you consider how confident Gen Y-ers are, compared with their predecessors: 75 percent of those tested in the study agreed with the statement, “I’m confident I can do whatever I want to do.”

Want to attract this entrepreneurial generation to your company? Here’s how to make them see beyond a more traditional corporate structure.

1. Ditch the cubicles.

The staid, gray world of the cubicle farm doesn’t appeal to Generation Y’s sense of individuality and innovation. Open office structures also promote the kind of collaboration and sense of community that the Twitter and Facebook crowd find appealing.

2. Give them opportunities to innovate.

Gen Y is the first generation to grow up fully wired, with technology as the backdrop to their everyday life. (Don’t believe us? Ask someone under 30 to try to remember a time before the internet. They will most likely describe a dark time in which they actually had to use those free AOL discs.)

This natural facility with technology gives the younger generation a unique perspective on your company’s problems, assets, and potential.

3. Pay based on performance.

Want to attract the entrepreneurial crowd? Offer bonuses — or even basic compensation structure — based on what they achieve, rather than the face-time they put in. Self-confident Generation Y employees will trust themselves to make or exceed market rates, and your company can float less of the cost of paying salaries up front.

4. Recruit differently.

The Millennial Generation is more likely to look for jobs digitally, and to respond to off-beat recruitment tactics. For example, Arlington, VA-based Opower recently made a recruiting video starring its “Chief Hula Officer” Dan Yates, hulaing away while “Beat It” played in the background. The idea? “Opower is not your typical employer.”

5. Be flexible.

Some statistics show that 85 percent of Gen Y-ers want to work at home 30 – 70 percent of the time. Offering flexibility in scheduling and time in the office will make your organization more attractive to younger workers.


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