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Real Business : Autumn 2008
18 REAL BUSINESS AUTUMN 2008 PHOTOLIBRARY RECRUITERS AND GEN Y LASTING IMPRESSION B Y JAMES MASSOLA Members of Generation Y -- those born between 1976 and 1991 -- have a mixed reputation among employers. On the one hand, you are increasingly valued for your ability to innovate and multitask, and for your flexibility in the face of changing job requirements. You are confident, capable and versatile. But the flip side of the coin reveals some less-than-desirable characteristics that have alienated some employers. Gen Y are often seen as lacking loyalty, being "me-focused", and arriving at new jobs with a CV in one hand and a passport in the other, already looking for the next challenge, as well as the next pay rise. Each year an abundance of graduates enter the workforce. Employers, particularly at the top firms, like to take their pick of the talent coming through. But what are they looking for? And are they beginning to express reservations about the Gen Y talent they are seeing? Anecdotal evidence from recruitment firms suggests they are growing wary of hiring bright young things who will leave in a year's time. For you ng graduates, avoiding the mistakes of your Gen Y contemporaries is becoming increasingly important. SIMON COX, manager of accounting and finance with Canberra-based firm PCA Recruitment, knows the strengths and weaknesses of Gen Y better than most -- and also knows just what employers are looking for in graduates. Cox says members of Gen Y are a product of their surroundings and society, and that employers realise the game has changed in the decades since they themselves were young recruits. Work/life balance is more important today, and firms are starting to realise this. "Half the reaction is jealousy from older generations," Cox says. "Gen Y tends to say, 'Why should I start from the bottom? I don't need to'. Which is true in some cases. The problem for employers is that some extreme Gen Y characters can be unrealistic MEMO TO GENERATION Y IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!