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Is Generation Y falling out of love with careers in finance?

After reading a really interesting article in E Financial Careers, I thought I’d summarise their findings in a blog. The financial sector has traditionally been a happy home for Generation Y employees and an industry where they’ve flourished. However, with the recent recession fallout and vilification of financial services, is this relationship on the rocks?

Generation Y, or the Millennial Generation, encompasses people born between the end of the 1970s and mid-1990s, which means it represents those still looking to enter the workforce and more seasoned professionals. They are notoriously achievement oriented, demanding and expect to change jobs and careers throughout their lifetime. This group have previously been wooed by the world of finance - the air of prestige of working in banking, the salaries & bonuses and development opportunities. However, with all of these desirables now tarnished, is Generation Y looking elsewhere?


Here at FreshMinds we have definitely noticed a shift in the criteria our top notch graduates are looking for from an employer. As a general trend we are seeing entrepreneurial and boutique firms being viewed as an interesting alternative to large corporates. Michael Gelles, director in the human capital practice at Deloitte Consulting has noticed that this select group wants to feel that they are an "individual" not just one of thousands of similar employees. The banking industry is not currently perceived as being able to offer this. Our candidates are also interested in the culture and work-life balance offered by employees, it seems ‘softer factors’ are really coming into play, a shift in values that some may argue is a much healthier approach to the job market.
With an awareness that they may need to work for the next 50 years of their life, the match criteria Generation Y look for in an employer seem to be evolving. Companies will need to ensure they can continue to attract and engage this select group.  If boutique firms are the new ‘hot thing’ they will need to ensure they have the processes in place and brand presence to deal with applicants.  The larger ‘more conventional’ firms need to convey that they still offer progression, hands on opportunities and the buzz associated with the ‘hot young thing’!


It will be interesting to see how firms manage to maintain the interest of a group that are living through a revolutionary period.