How to hire generation Y into the corporate world

Together with a fantastic team of coaches, I concepted and moderated a workshop on future workplaces for Generation Y applicants and employees. The client, a multinational corporation with over 50k employees realizes that their business model is in transformation and they need new people and a new problem solving culture to support that change.

The project was a combination of a six week exploration phase in which two D-School student teams did tons of research on the topic and came up with ideas for innovative experiences for the Gen Y workplace. While the client had requested the design of future career architectures, it turned out that “career” is really not a need but a symptom of a number of other needs.

In the workshop, the teams of professionals worked on how the ideas and their core value propositions could come to life in the company. We designed a number of interventions that helped the team unpack the idea of career in general (what the hell is it?) and empathize with their future applicants.

Here are some things that I learned about Gen Y employee needs. Some of them are quite obvious and most apply to pretty much any employee, as it turns out:

  1. Gen Y wants IT-equipment.
    And yes, they will want it for personal use.
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  2. Gen Y wants mentors, not bosses.
    I didn’t come up with this illustration, but it hits the point.
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  3. Gen Y wants jobs that fits their lifestyle.
    They first decide how they want to live – then they design the suitable job.
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  4. Gen Y wants feedback.
    Honest, professional, focusing on personal growth.
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  5. Gen Y wants to be visible.
    Even if they’re two weeks in the company, there’s no time in which they’re going to “watch and learn”.
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  6. Gen Y wants the option to do home- / café- / train-office.
    Simple, but true.
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  7. Gen Y wants international.
    Here’s an opportunity for multinational corporations.
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  8. Gen Y wants to know their team.
    They need to see who they’re gonna hang with.
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  9. Gen Y wants an inspiring workplace.
    That doesn’t mean it has to cost a ton.
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  10. Cultural change needs management support.
    No doubt about that.
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(HPI Academy)