Thursday, July 5, 2007

War for Talent: Millenials Reach Business School

Born between the early 1980s and 2002, the millennial generation is of keen interest to both business schools and corporate recruiters because it will outsize the Baby Boomer generation and likely have a huge impact on shaping culture.

It is important to note differences in this generation's expectations, skills and attitudes about work. The Wall Street Journal lists the following charactistics:

-- Millennials grew up with play dates and other organized activities, and prefers well-defined policies and responsibilities.

-- Millennials like structure and will want schools and companies to give them clear rules to follow. They may not like dealing with the ambiguity they will inevitably face as managers.

-- Doted on by their parents since birth, millennials will likely expect more than the usual attention from admission officials, career counselors, professors, and alumni mentors.

-- Millennials also need to clearly see the value of their jobs. "They want their work to be relevant, have impact and offer them a diversity of experiences," says Richard Baird, global managing partner for human capital at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

"Some career-service centers may have to expand their staffs to give the millennials more individual counseling," predicts Allyson Moore, director of full-time MBA career services at NYU.

Recruiters say achievement-oriented millennials want detailed descriptions of their work duties upfront, as well as a timetable for promotions. "The recruiting experience with this generation is going to be more intensive," says Kermit King, a recruiting executive at Boston Consulting Group.

Schools are starting to become more technology savvy to attract this digital generation. Some b-school web sites feature blogs and online chats and allow applicants to check their acceptance status online 24/7. But MBA programs may have to go further, creating promotional podcasts for prospective students to download, for example, and making admission officials available for instant messaging.

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