Generation shift

OCT 2010

A SKYE Recruitment survey has shown the values of generation X and Y employees in the mining sector has shifted, with a greater emphasis on job security and lower salary expectations.

The survey included the CEOs and HR teams of 12 large mining companies, providing insight into the generational changes at play in the labour market.

Skye Recruitment director Kye Macdonald says Gen Y employees are becoming more like baby boomers in their work preferences, but there still are differences in their approach to the workplace.

“What is interesting is that overall, the differences that were quite distinct a year ago have softened – the three generations are getting more blurred in terms of career moves,” he says.

“For example, the baby boomers have lived through the 90s recession so naturally, feel loyal to a job as it means security – now that X and Y have seen bad economic times, they have increased their valuation of a secure job.

“Gen Y think the Xers are whingers, Gen X sees Y as arrogant and everyone thinks the baby boomers are self-absorbed workaholics.”

The survey showed that generation Y is less focused on salary while generation X has higher salary expectations, with a dislike of micromanagement and the least enthusiasm for working extra hours without overtime.

Also, baby boomers typically stay with a job for 10 years, generation X for five years and generation Y for two years.

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