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(May 14, 2007) These days, my oldest daughter Bridget and I are delivering a presentation called Rethinking the Workforce: Recruiting in an Age Boom. It explores differences in generational views and the shifting demographics that drive them. Bridget, of course, is the star of the show.
Last week, when we delivered the material at Kennedy's wonderful Recruiting Conference, one moment stood out among all others. A Recruiter asked her about what she thought of pictures on MySpace. Wasn't it best not to have incriminating evidence online since 25% of employers Google their new hires.
Without skipping a beat, Bridget said "Why would I even want to work for a company that wanted me to lie?"
Like her Gen Y peers, Bridget has grown up in a world of much less privacy, all the time online, 300 channels and a network education. Completely adjusted to ever present cameras, this group wonders why the older folks are so busy hiding things. Civil rights has become a process of bringing sunlight to areas that used to be buried. The saying that underlies their belief in transparency is something like "Sunshine is a good disinfectant."
Transparency is a lifestyle and work choice. It emanates from a belief that the public and private spheres are merging, due to technological improvement and population growth. Transparency means knowing who I am, knowing who you are and productively harnessing the differences. This crowd grew up diverse.
When asked what she wanted to see on an employers website, she said, "The good and the bad. I'm going to Google you like you Google me. Why hide the negatives? Am I supposed to think that you're perfect?"
There's a labor shortage going on. Companies are struggling to fill seats. It will outlast the next downturn because it comes from physical shortage. It matters a great deal that the next generation of workers have seen organizations up close. Layoffs in the family mean much, much more when there are only one or two kids. Corporate misbehavior resonates over generations.
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