Building Knowledge Assets for Competitive Advantage
Edited by Vlad Vaiman and Charles M. Vance
Chapter 4: Attracting and Retaining Generation Y Knowledge Worker Talent
Siri Terjesen and Regina-Viola Frey INTRODUCTION In most parts of the developed world, the working age population will decrease over the next 50 years. For example, declines of 12, 8, 6, and 5% are expected in Japan, Canada, Australia/France, and the United States respectively. See Figure 4.1. These statistics are driven by low birth rates, the retirement of Baby Boomers and increased life expectancies. Coupled with statistics indicating that the number of knowledge-based jobs requiring university education and expert skill sets will grow as developed economies continue to shift from manufacturing to service industries, the latest highly educated population to enter the labor force, Generation Y (born 1977–94) are in great demand. In developed economies, Generation Y employees currently comprise roughly 20% of the workforce but will reach 40% in just ﬁve years. Generation Y Generation Y people are the latest cohort to join the workforce and are also referred to as ‘Millennials’ and the ‘Dot.com generation.’ Generation Y follow the ‘Builders’ (born before 1946), the Baby Boomers (born 1946–64) and Generation X (born 1965–79), and precede Generation Z (born 1995–2009). Generation Y are primarily the children of Baby Boomers. Prior studies indicate that Generation Y workers, when compared with their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts, are more adaptable, conﬁdent, able to multi-task and technologically savvy (NAS Recruitment, 2006). Generation Y employees plan to move around and want to work faster and harder than their colleagues and want to be ‘climbing the corporate ladder...
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