By Jim Wong, CPA | June 27, 2013

Finding and attracting top accounting and financial professionals to fit comfortably within your organization’s culture is a challenge. We’ve discussed how creating a good candidate experience is crucial to retain top talent, and it is especially important when you consider Gen Y candidates.

According to Employee Benefit News, by 2025, nearly 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will include Gen Y workers. Knowing how to attract and retain talent within the Millennial demographic has been a thoughtful concern of employers and continues to be a point of concern as Baby Boomers leave the workforce. As this cultural shift takes place, employers have to take advantage of the opportunity to prepare.

What Does Gen Y Value Most?
With the impending influx of Gen Y workers, integrating new talent into your current culture looks a bit different. As with each new generation entering the workforce, Gen Y has unique desires and expectations when it comes to workplace environment and culture. It’s important for employers to understand these key variations to create an inviting culture, as well as tailored programs to best fit this generation.

Comprehensive Benefits
Pay, vacation time, and health benefits are expected, but Gen Y also place a high value on work-life balance.

This generation is “hard driven, tech savvy, ambitious, and well aware of the social context of their life and their work,” says Inc. contributor Sam Bacharach. “Sure they want money and ‘stuff,’ but they also value the communal and social aspects of their lives.”

Mentorship and Opportunities to Grow
Although opportunities to grow are important to Gen Y, according to experts, those opportunities do not necessarily have to include advancement, at least not right away.

“Gen Y place a real emphasis on continual learning, and the drive for regular promotion should not be confused with the desire for regular feedback, which many see as a vital part of their personal and career development,” says Forbes contributor, Lynda Gratton.

“We’re hearing from a lot of Gen Yers that it’s not just the recognition and feedback for [recent work performance] they want to know, [but also] where to go from here and how to get there,” says Sarah Doll, Senior Director of talent management at, Enova, an award-winning Gen Y employer.

Work/Life Balance and the Importance of Community
Gen Y workers enjoy the social aspects of work. They respond well to activities held outside of the office.

Carlson further explains a less ‘rules-based’ based approach, and more of an emphasis on flexibility within an organization’s culture will better meet Gen Y expectations.

Tailor Your Organizational Culture: Meet in the Middle
When it comes to creating a culture to attract and retain Gen Y talent, perhaps the best overall approach is to focus on engagement. Carlson advises employers, “Keep them actively involved in the company.”

Technology can play a key role in keeping accounting and finance talent involved, and provide an effective way to tailor an organizational culture. As a highly tech savvy generation in tune with social media, employers should look for opportunities to tailor their current programs to incorporate these technologies.

Whether you’re adding a new technology better suited for Gen Y, or incorporating tailored incentive and feedback based programs, it’s important to create opportunities for generational workers to bond.

Look for ways to meet generations in the middle, and commit to refine your organizational culture as the workforce continues to evolve.

How have you changed your hiring to embrace the younger demographics?

This article originally appeared on Clear Focus Financial Search.

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