The word ‘Generation’ followed by a single letter must strike fear into the hearts of most readers. We’ve probably had our fill of analysing and debating the word when suffixed with X or Y, or prefixed with i...hell, I even blogged ‘Still Got Those talking Gen Y Blues’ at TruLondon!
Generation R is new though, and different. Whilst the more well known generational classifications usually define age groups by their cultural, socio-economic and parental influences, and are often misappropriated by us HR and Recruiting professionals to illustrate workplace behaviours too, this new classification is straight out of the workplace...
...and its catching on quickly! I first noticed it barely a week or two ago, and already it has spawned articles in both Financial Times and Wall Street Journal.
Who are Generation R? Well (I guess) they’re Generation Retained (or Generation Recession?) - defined as frustrated professionals who have survived the recession with much expanded roles...those who not only kept their jobs in the recession, but have progressed faster than usual by taking on the work of more senior (and redundant) colleagues...and now they want their rewards!
The main proposition seems to be that they are the ultimate fast track talent, taking responsibility and performing at a level way above that normally associated with their experience, and now they’re frustrated. They want the rewards, benefits and recognition normally afforded to those whose jobs they’ve taken. Seems that they are mainly to be found in the financial services sector, but reports of sightings have been growing through other sectors!
Their predicament was summed up by one UK recruitment company MD:
‘Filled with confidence as to their own abilities and what they can offer, Generation R has high expectations as to what their next move should be. They want a job that reflects the skills they have harnessed during this turbulent period’
Or ‘I want it all...I want it now’ as Freddie Mercury once sang!
Seriously, you might think that most people in this position would have been thankful:
1) To keep their job
2) To have had such faith shown in them
3) Be grateful for the opportunity to acquire skills and experience that it could have taken years to build up
4) Looking to repay this faith by showing a modicum of loyalty and help their companies back to a stronger position
But no, it would appear that they are eager to move, ready to offer their talents to the highest bidder. They are threatening to move if they don’t get what they want...and it seems that a number of organisations are now feeling under pressure to promote staff to the next level faster than they would like just to keep them.
Now this may well excite recruiters and frustrate HR professionals who have built talent propositions around emerging young performers, but has me asking 3 questions:
Are recruiters and hiring managers seeing Generation R candidates?
Would you promote someone early just to keep them?
If companies give in to their demands, and/or start aggressively hiring from competitors by offering higher rewards, purely allowing candidates to hold out for the biggest package, aren’t we in danger of going right back to the mess we’re still trying to get away from?
Let me know what you think...