Earth to Grads

Idealism might be Gen Y's best feature, but how do those standards impact employment choices? 


In case you didn’t hear last week, 2011 is a good time to be a grad... or at least a better time than the three years before it.

The hiring of new grads is expected to rise 19% this year, yet an incredible 85% percent are expected to move back in with their parents post graduation, says consulting firm Twentysomething Inc. Even this wild stallion jumped the fence in his teenage years, only to return home poor, hungry and more than a little humbled by crumbling job prospects.

The Ramen Noodle army of 20 somethings may have scraped to get by the past few years, but as the economy begins to perk up, so too do the ambitions of the nation's best and brightest grads. Businessweek not only identified “Gen Y’ dream jobs (and they dream BIG...Google, Apple, Disney, etc.) but analyzed seven common personality types to determine why younger folks might be drawn to one of these power players instead of smaller, more achievable positions.

Man, I'm totally working at Google

(Jeff Spicoli, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Courtesy of

Here is their assessment:

“Careerists are looking for a prestigious brand name and employers who recruit only the best and brightest; entrepreneurs want to work for fast-growing companies with a creative work environment; explorers are looking for challenging work and a variety of assignments; harmonizers are seeking work/life balance and secure employment; hunters are attracted by competitive base salaries and good prospects for future earnings; idealists are drawn to friendly work environments and high ethical standards; and leaders want leadership opportunities and mentors.”

So what does this mean for a credit union? Any institution may pull down plenty of “harmonizers,” looking for a quite corner and a steady paycheck, a few idealists who truly get and support the cooperative cause, and (dare I say it?) a pack of hunters with financial drives. But what about the explorers, the entrepreneurs, the leaders and all the other demographics required to keep the lifeblood flowing in an institution year-over-year?

No institution is hurting for a lack of talented employees yet, but tomorrow may be a different story. It’s not enough for credit unions to be leaders, dreamers, visionaries, and achievers... they need to demonstrate these values and the cooperative difference to young grads now, before the cream of the crop is swept up by competitors.