How to Attract and Retain Gen Y Talent

Male And Female Generation Y Looking Up At Shiny Lights

As a generation, Millennials are hard to retain in most corporate workplaces, but when it comes to financial companies, the challenge is even greater because Gen Y talent is hard to attract in the first place.

According to a PwC report, a whopping 21% of Generation Y are not interested in working in financial services altogether. To make matters worse, only 10% of Generation Y, who are currently working in the financial sector, intend to remain employed in their companies for a long period of time. In comparison, 18% of Generation Y across all sectors plan to stay in their current role for the long-haul.

Financial companies are clearly facing the challenge of attracting, nurturing and retaining highly skilled, often entrepreneurial talent. The industry has earned a poor reputation among Generation Y for a reason. It is known to have a rather hierarchical corporate structure, where advancement is defined by seniority and tenure and information is maintained in silos and shared with a select few. None of this appeals to Gen Y, who have very different expectations.

Thankfully, there are a handful of financial and other big global companies who understand the changing demands of the new workforce and cater to them successfully. Here are four examples, we can learn from (and perhaps Generation Y can appreciate):

PwC helps graduates pay off their student loans

In some countries, Generation Y graduates have disproportionately huge student loan debt. These loans take years to pay off, and organizations like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have used this unfortunate fact to their advantage. How? Well, the multinational accounting and consulting firm offers the benefit of Student Loan Paydown to its graduate employees.

This is the first-of-its-kind workplace initiative to help graduate employees get their career off to a financially healthy start and improve their financial well-being.

Student loan debt is not just an individual problem. It is a major societal issue because it contributes to the rising cost of tuition, which has grown well beyond inflation and become a growing burden for many families.

McKinsey allows employees to take 5-10 weeks off for personal interests  

The majority of Generation Y values flexible work arrangements over financial benefits. In fact, they feel so strongly about it that they are willing to take a pay-cut if it ensures a healthier work-life balance.

Management consulting company McKinsey also believes that their consultants’ work-life should be balanced. They allow employees to take an entire 5-10 weeks off between projects to pursue personal interests.

McKinsey finds that this freedom enables consultants to stay in their current role longer, thus reducing the pressure to fulfil requirements for their next role.

McKinsey replaces corporate ladders with corporate lattices

McKinsey has also eliminated the archaic corporate ladder and replaced it with what is known as corporate lattices instead.

As opposed to the hierarchical ladder that ensures employees can only move in one direction, i.e. up the ladder, the corporate lattice allows employees to move sideways, i.e. horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

The lattice thus allows for quicker career progression opportunities and the accompanying pay raise is similarly more incremental.

Barr Engineering Co has no managers  

Yes, you read that correctly. Barr Engineering Co, an engineering and environment consulting company, does not really believe in the concept of managers.

It is a 100% employee-owned company where everyone chooses the projects they want to work on. This means the company ensures that employees can work on projects that truly appeal to them.

However, if a person signs up as an individual contributor, they will have to report to the manager of the chosen project, while they may serve as manager on other projects, too.

Over to you…

Irrespective of whether or not you work in the finance industry, what do you think corporations should do to attract and retain Generation Y talent more effectively?

This blog is the first of three articles in which we will deep-dive into tips for leaders managing cross-generational workplaces and improving emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Read and watch how GAIA Insights can help you engage, develop and retain next generation leaders via our benefits page here. Learn how to become a great leader in our ASPIRE programs.

About the author

Tanya Korobka

Tanya Korobka runs the UK's leading Millennial marketing and workplace blog Lucky Attitude http://luckyattitude.co.uk/

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