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Attracting (and Keeping) the Perfect Employee, at Any Age

- November 1, 2012 - 6 Comments

Attracting and retaining great candidates for a job can be the most rewarding and frustrating experience a manager can go through. Organisations that understand the intricacies of evolving employee needs are being richly rewarded. The highly flexible, highly adaptable and forward thinking youth, present a fantastic employment opportunity, but only if you understand them.

As generations X, Y and Z begin, respectively, moving up, moving through, and moving into the workforce, insights into the way each group works will go a long way to informing successful attraction and retention practices. Currently with a highly competitive job market employees are being as scrutinously selective in who they accept as employers.

Interestingly, Australian’s across the board are the most demanding of non-financial benefits such as flexible work hours over international counterparts. But the real story gets deeper than that:

Gen X – The tail end of the Gen Xer’s are just hitting 33 years old. They are ambitious and career minded. Many couples are waiting well into their thirties to have children. Research has shown that Gen Xer’s are the most demanding when it comes to money, titles, and flexible hours so be prepared to negotiate in the early stages. 52% of employees would jump ship and forgo more money for more flexibility. Top Tip for recruiting and keeping Gen Xer’s – flexible working conditions for busy families.

Gen Y – This generation are continuously referred to by older generations as reckless, and restless. This is a classic generalisation. These 18 – 32 year olds can be very hard working, but it is “making a difference” that counts more than money. Gen Y’s are naturals with online communications and expect that modern up to date technology are part and parcel. Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that 74% of university students would expect to be able to use their work network from a remote location. Top Tip for Gen Y – up to date technology that supports employee autonomy.

Gen Z – These under 18’s are learning about the world from an entirely different perspective. Digital natives are highly networked and used to an “on demand” lifestyle. Growing up parallel to Facebook, Skype and smart phones these young people are accustomed to any form of communication and will prefer workplace freedom to being tied to an office. Inspired by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, casual dress, and sociability are highly desired, but cutting edge technology is vital. Gen Zer’s are attached to their own devices and BYOD will become an expected part of these individual’s careers. Top Tip for Gen Z – cutting edge technology and a good BYOD strategy.

We’re keen to hear about how you work and how you would like to work, so come and check out theCisco Work Your Way website, keep an eye out for our series of blog posts and follow the Cisco ANZ Twitter feed (@CiscoANZ, #telework) to keep up to date with our exploration of the possibilities, obstacles and opportunities that Teleworking will present.

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  1. Thanks for posting this interesting information for us! If you keep up this good work I’ll visit your website again. Thanks!

  2. Dear Linda thank you for your research base article. You compaire young generation with techonoloy and human resources in any organization. I'm in GEN Y category according to your list. I dont no why employers do not understand the young generation? Work after work, nothing other. Huge mental and physical pressure, long hours duties, unnecessary responsibility, less remuneration and many more other. Employer should understand the minimul problem of staffs. Human resources should not use like as equipment. I'm really happy by reading this nice article.

  3. Linda, a great blog on the generational differences and motivation. Being part of the Inclusion & Diversity Office within Cisco, we continually look at ways we can engage our multi-generation workforce. We live in an exciting, hyper-connected world that adds a level of sophistication yet levels of complexity when you add the multi-culturals that exist within the generations. There is a lot of research that talks to the various generations within a global world and the similarities and differences that do exist even within the generations. Also, we can not forget about the Baby Boomers, that are still part of the workforce. Given the global economic recession and impact to their retirements -- many are still staying in the workforce and bring tremendous value given their experience and knowledge. We need to find ways that we capture that knowledge and share it before they leave and do retire. Thanks for posting and given us all great insights!

  4. Nice Sharring also i will not forget this in my life

  5. Gen X - The tail end of the Gen Xer’s are just hitting 33 years old. They are ambitious and career minded i like this

  6. As part of our recent Collaboration Summit, we brought in a group of MBA students from University of Southern California to give us insight on the new-generation workforce. And they gave us plenty!