How to attract Gen Y IT experts

Members of Generation Y grew up with computers and the Internet, and have gained valuable skills and experience in IT. In order for you to take advantage of the many benefits Gen Y IT experts have to offer, it’ll take some special effort to attract those experts to your company. 

While your company’s HR software has been a valuable tool in hiring some of your best IT experts, Gen Y works a little differently. Using social media, offering advancement opportunities, and maintaining balanced communication can help convince the best new IT experts to join your organization.

Use the Right Social Media

Generation Y makes up the largest age group on Facebook, with a total of nearly 42 million users worldwide. However, that doesn’t mean Facebook is the right social platform for finding Gen Y IT experts. A recent poll of Gen Y workers conducted by Achievers and Experience, Inc., found that only 7% use Facebook to look for jobs. In addition:

  • 35% of survey respondents named the professional networking site LinkedIn as their social media platform of choice in the job hunt. The popularity of LinkedIn among this age group also grew 700% between 2010 and 2012.
  • Even though Gen Y experts aren’t using Facebook for the job search, they are using it to check out your company’s online presence. Make sure that your social media platforms reflect your business’s brand and culture.

Offer Advancement Opportunities

Generation Y has attracted many labels, including the accusation that members of the age group are “job-hoppers.” The Bureau of Labor statistics confirms that Gen Y’s average tenure is 1.5 years per job. This may be discouraging when you’re trying to attract IT experts from Gen Y – constantly replacing and training new employees decreases your IT department’s productivity and efficiency. It may seem that the only way to attract and keep experts in Gen Y is to offer the highest payroll numbers within your industry, but think again:

  • In the Achievers survey, 54% of Generation Y respondents valued career advancement opportunities over salary. For this generation, job-hopping is a way to generate career progression when jobs don’t offer internal opportunities for advancement.
  • Offering job coaching, the ability to complete meaningful work and a transparent advancement structure will help your company attract and keep the best employees, even if you can’t afford to offer the highest salaries on the market.

Give Feedback – But Not Too Much

Gen Y employees need you to tell them your expectations for the job and whether they are fulfilling those expectations. They don’t want to figure these things out on their own, but would prefer to dive right in to your company. “What GenY needs is a high-intensity orientation right off the bat – something that gives them organizational context and a gut-level understanding of their role, its relationship to the company’s mission, and who all the players are,” advises Bruce Tulgan, author of Not Everyone Gets A Trophy: How to Manage Generation Y.

Gen Y IT experts want to know your expectations for a project – but they don’t want you to tell them how to do it. Micromanaging Gen Y employees is one of the fastest ways to get them to jump to a new job. Tell them the outcome you want, and leave to them the details of figuring out how to make it happen.

Members of Generation Y prefer opportunities for advancement over higher salaries. They utilize their social media platforms in very specific ways. They desire open, frequent communication that doesn’t spill over into micromanagement. As an employer, you must understand the needs and values of your workforce in order to find and keep the best IT experts entering the job market.

About the author: Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for Resource Nation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as recruiting software.