What Do Gen Y Job Seekers Want?

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That’s a question I’ve seen posed a lot lately online. As college seniors knock off their midterms and begin thinking in earnest about life A.C. (after college), the tight labor market is forcing employers and recruiters to ask themselves how best to attract the top talent.

Here’s one answer: a recent survey by recruiters Hudson found that what young employees crave is “more feedback, access to managers and social interaction than their older counterparts.”

To put it a little more bluntly, they want their hands held. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; other studies have shown that guidance and mentorship are key to job success and employee retention.

Here are Hudson’s findings:

A quarter–24%–of workers from both Generation X and Y said they would like feedback from their boss at least once a week, if not every day. A fifth of baby boomers want report cards that frequently.

Gen Y workers like their cubicles situated just under the boss’s nose: 81% of Gen Y workers say direct access to senior management is “very important.” Three quarters of boomers and Gen X agreed.

And chatting up the boss daily at the espresso makerisn’t enough for Gen Y. No, sir. Over a quarter, 26%, want “more frequent social interaction with their managers”; the same number “would like to socialize with their boss at least monthly.” As for Gen X, 21% want to hoist an Amstel with the boss every month. Boomers are so over that; only 16% of them want to hang with their superiors.

Hear that, bosses? Gen Y likes you! Attracting and keeping young talent might hinge on your willingness to give them a little time–and maybe a beer or two after hours on the corporate Amex. It could be worse. You could be hanging out with your boss.

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