Generation Y

What's important to them when looking for a job and how should companies react?

Times on the labour market are changing. This also applies to the demands young applicants place on their job. The prospect of a fast career and leadership responsibility for many members of Generation Y no longer suffices to get them excited about a job. Companies that want to retain sought-after talents in the future must adapt to these circumstances. So where exactly are the key differences between this generation and older employees?

Generation Y is roughly the age group born between 1980 and 1995. The term "digital natives" is also frequently used in this context, since it is this generation that already early on in their lives came into contact with the ever-increasing digital network, which has fundamentally changed many aspects of daily life. At a time when weekly grocery shopping is done online and classic television has been almost completely replaced by streaming providers, the question is what impact digitisation has on the job application process.

For many young applicants, it is natural to find information online also regarding career issues and, of course, to create the application digitally themselves. The first steps in this area were taken with e-mail applications, but, by now, many companies rely on specially programmed application platforms. In the vast majority of cases, however, only the submission of the application was modernized, but not the application documents themselves. These still consist of cover letters, CVs and attachments such as job references. However, it is obvious that the application itself should be optimised to meet the changing demands of Generation Y.

What is important for Generation Y in their own career?

Of course, there are overlaps between Generation Y and older employees. For example, among the cohort of younger applicants, around half of those surveyed in a study among graduates by Kienbaum Consultants state that they are career-oriented. However, a classic career orientation can only be seen in around 20 percent of those surveyed. Other aspects are much more important than they were for previous generations.

One example is the work-life balance, which plays a major role for the majority of young applicants. Time for self-fulfilment and travel is also important. A cooperative work atmosphere, opportunities for further training and the meaningfulness of one's own work also play an important role. Much less importance is attached to classic factors such as bonuses, company cars or wealth. Generation Y not only changes corporate cultures but also hierarchies and incentive systems. This also poses completely new challenges to management culture and employee motivation. In Generation Y, career paths that still seem very exotic today will become the rule.

What does the changed attitude of Generation Y towards careers mean for employers?

Applicants' changed demands have a decisive influence on the design of the application process. In all activities designed to attract new employees, care must be taken to ensure that the requirements for a new job that are most important to young applicants are communicated. A corporate culture in which values such as work-life balance or flexibility are actually lived, provides the right foundation. The requirements of individual applicants for a corporate culture can, of course, also vary widely within Generation Y. 

For companies, it has become increasingly important to be able to select the really suitable candidates at an early stage in the application process due to the diverse and different wishes and needs of applicants. With a classic job application, consisting of cover letter and CV, this is only possible to a limited extent. New online platforms like skillster want to solve this problem.

Finding suitable Generation Y applicants with skillster

Since an applicant's personality plays such an important role in the application process, skillster further explores an applicant's personality on the basis of scientific tests. In the process, applicants are divided into different types. On the platform, companies can select the characteristics they require of applicants by choosing from a number of specified terms; then candidates are suggested, whose personality suits their requirements. 

Applicants' requirements regarding corporate culture are also matched with those of potential employers. Since this plays such an important role for Generation Y, this aspect may not be forgotten in the application process.

New career paths of Generation Y: Companies should be prepared

The attitude of Generation Y towards work and career differs significantly from the wishes and goals of previous generations. To many applicants, a corporate culture, in which a work-life balance, a variety of further training opportunities and co-operative interaction exist, is important. It is the companies' job to implement these aspects of corporate culture.

In order to find the perfect applicant on an individual level, modern support in the application process can now be relied on. skillster is able to suggest applicants with a matching personality and matching ideas regarding corporate culture. In this way, employers have already taken a major step forward in their attempt to correctly approach Generation Y.