Members of Generation Y really are the hardest bunch to hire and retain, at least in accounting and finance roles. A study of 300 chief financial officers and finance directors conducted by recruitment firm Robert Half in June, showed 38 per cent find Gen Y employees the most difficult to recruit. This compared with 24 per cent reporting troubles hiring Gen X and just 10 per cent with baby boomers. Once they’re in the door, Gen Y don’t make it easy for their managers either, with nearly half the executives saying they are the hardest to retain.
Sixty-two per cent of employers attributed the challenge with retention to Gen Y employees’ high expectations for career advancement, followed by their expectations for remuneration and work-life balance. However, the millennial generation’s career priorities are not markedly different from more experienced employees.
The difference is older employees tend to have additional experience and skills on their side when contemplating advancement.
“Ambition is no substitute for experience,” Robert Half director Andrew Morris says. “Tenured employees are a huge asset to any company. They have worked hard to build their skills and as they look to round out their careers, they expect to be recognised and rewarded.”
Morris says these expectations among seasoned employees are well founded. In addition to formal accounting qualifications, financial decision-makers prioritise management and leadership experience when filling finance and accounting roles.
“Gen Y professionals cannot expect instant career gratification through advancement,” Morris says. “Companies need to take care not to neglect their more experienced employees.”
This requires careful management.
“As more Generation Y professionals enter the market, companies need to adapt their hiring strategies to attract and retain these staff,” says Morris.