Connecting Employer Needs With Gen Y Talent Part 2
Hiring and Marketing to the Gen-Y Population – Part 2
(Part 2 of a 3-part Series by BEL Committee Chair Roger Johnson)
In the first segment of this series you were made aware of the differences among the various generations of employees now in the workplace. Recall that since the Greatest Generation that fought for our freedoms in WWII, we produced in order a society where the Traditionalists, followed by the Baby Boom Generation, then Generation-X, have moved into the workplace; and now Generation-Y is beginning to populate our workforce. We discussed the inherent differences that exist among these individual generations as regards their expectations, skills and habits, and why we need to pay closer attention as employers to the characteristics of the Gen-Yers.
In this second part it is time to review what the connections are (or aren’t) between the expectations of employers and the expectations of Gen-Y employees, based on recent surveys of both of these groups. Every fall, the Minnesota College Job Outlook survey asks employers, “What do students most need to improve upon?” For six consecutive years the number one answer has been, “Students need to develop more realistic job expectations.” In a nutshell, employers have a message to recent graduates expecting to enter the job market: That message is “Get Real.”
The Alexandria, MN Echo Press recently reported (June 27, 2011) the latest Minnesota Senior Survey results. The study polled 893 May 2011 graduates from seven Minnesota colleges and universities and 230 employers from organizations active in college recruiting. Students’ results are from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota State University Mankato, Winona State University, Metropolitan State University, Southwest Minnesota State University, Bemidji State University and Gustavus Adolphus College. Students and employers were asked the same questions. Students were asked to indicate what they expected for their first job out of college. Employers were asked to indicate what students should expect for the entry-level job for which they hired the greatest number of new college (four year) graduates. The study was conducted by Andy Ditlevson, associate Director of the Career Services Center at St. Cloud State University. A summary of the results that are particularly noticeable indicates the following:
Expectation Students Employers
Percent of new graduates expecting to work 45 hours or more per week. 33.4% 48.2%
Work before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. or on weekends (outside the normal 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday schedule). Split fairly evenly among “rarely”, “occasionally”, “frequently” or “regularly”. More than 20% of employers indicated that their new hires should expect “regular/normal” work schedules to include hours outside of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
For starting salaries Student expectations were actually lower than employers, in most salary ranges For salaries over $40,000 employers exceeded the students expectations by 14.6%
Time delay in expecting their first promotion. Student expectations exceed that of employers in the first 18 months Employers expectations are about double that of students after 18 months.
The last question, about first promotion time, yielded the largest gap between student and employer expectations, with 63.9% of students expecting to get promoted within 18 months compared to 32.6% of employers indicating they would typically promote a new hire in that same timeframe.
It seems clearly evident that employers expect their new hires to work longer hours each week, and to expect that many of these hours will be outside of the normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday time slot. However, the good news for the new hires is that they should expect higher starting salaries than they might otherwise believe that they deserve. Additionally, new hires may have to be more patient in waiting for their first job promotion. Employers obviously wish to evaluate more of their employees’ work before committing to job or salary advancement.
These results should provide an interesting blend of additional questions that employers may wish to ask the Gen-Y students when they meet with them on October 13th at our MetroNorth Chamber Gen-Y Conference at the STEP Building on the Campus of Anoka Hennepin Technical College. Your BEL Committee will be preparing numerous trenchant questions related to the expectations of both employers and potential employees when it comes to the real world of marketing our businesses to the people of Anoka County. But you should contact Chamber President Lori Higgins to reserve a place at the conference table to share your views about your business and your expectations for your own new hires. Lori may be called at 763-783-3553 or emailed at Lori@metronorthchamber.org.