In Y-Size Your Business, Jason Dorsey shows us how to recruit, retain, and energize Gen Y Employees (born between 1977 and 1995). He delivers practical tips for talent management while providing the conceptual framework to support a modern-day talent pipeline.
Why do we need a talent pipeline? When you run your business like we truly live in the age of the artist, you realize that business relies little on physical assets and mostly on talent.
So let's focus on three concepts from the book that struck a talent chord with me: Influence, Technology, and Design.
Why influence? Influence is my shorthand for how Mr. Dorsey tells us to connect with Gen Y. You see, Gen Y approaches the job search differently from previous generations and has different criteria for selecting an employer. Jason describes ten hot buttons that instantly connect with Gen Y job seekers and help you enlist top talent.
Two hot buttons I like — Creativity and Opportunity. Let job seekers know they will have the freedom to be creative at work and pursue innovative solutions. And for the Opportunity button, connect the dots and show the path to advancement. People like to know the exact steps they need to take to be promoted.
It's all about the talent. Ever since we entered the Information Age decades ago, in reality, it's always been about the talent. Doesn't matter what any company thinks or does, it's still about the talent.
So when I say influence, I mean that to grab someone's attention you typically need to meet them where they're at and lead them. In addition to giving ten key characteristics or qualities of Gen Y, Jason gives you detailed instructions on how to match up with these qualities.
Technology plays a key role in how a generation develops. A couple months ago I read an article telling companies to hire Gen Y employees because they would know how to use technology to create a business advantage. I found this notion rather fanciful because there's probably only a handful of good CIOs who are able to transform technology into an advantage.
Jason showcases his wisdom with this sage insight:
Older generations think that Gen Y is tech savvy. This is 100 percent not true. Gen Y is not tech savvy, we are tech dependent. Important difference. We don't know how technology works. We just know we can't live without it.
As this San Franciso Chronicle article suggests, technology has the ability to shape our minds and actions at work. Gen Y likes instant feedback, and they may be predisposed to tight feedback loops because the technology they grew up with gave them this feature in spades. By the way, the presentation secrets that Steve Jobs uses, fits with the needs of Gen Y (get to the point, short segments).
The final concept I mentioned is design. Employees are your internal customers. And just as you should design memorable experiences for your paying customers, you should also design remarkable experiences for your employees. Experiences that make your new hires blog, tweet and text to their friends about what a great company they work for.
It's obvious that Mr. Dorsey also has design experience — He provides well-designed employee experiences, including the all important first day of work, that you can use for your company. It's important for both employee and employer to make a good first impression.
For if you don't put your best foot forward the other may not have a chance to follow.