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What are Gen X and Y BAs Looking for in Their Careers?

When it comes to choosing a company to work for, Gen X and Y are looking for advancement opportunities.

That was the number one incentive for 96% of respondents in the Gen Y demographic and 90% for Gen X according to a massive survey of almost 3000 Canadian workers conducted by David Aplin Recruiting. And while the survey didn’t specifically address business analysts, there’s no reason to believe that BAs in these age groups are different from the groups at large. Gen Y was defined as those born in 1980 and after; Gen X as those born from 1962 to 1979.

The top ten most influential employment incentives for Gen X and Y are:

  1. Advancement opportunities
  2. Performance-based bonuses, salary increases
  3. Excellent benefits package
  4. New challenges, variety of interesting projects
  5. Pension or retirement savings plan
  6. High salary
  7. Meaningful work, opportunities to make a difference
  8. Recognition, feedback
  9. Flexible work hours, telecommuting
  10. Mentoring, coaching

Are companies offering the things Gen X and Y workers want? Not typically, according to a second David Aplin Recruiting survey of over 1000 Canadian hiring managers. The top two things most organizations commonly offer are support of local charities and a casual dress code, neither one making the employee top-ten list. Less than two-thirds of companies offer the incentives most sought after by Gen X and Y workers.

In addition to offering the incentives that Gen X and Y want most, employers can stand apart from the crowd by offering perks that are in relatively high demand, but very few companies are currently offering them. These include:

  • Signing bonuses
  • Subsidized transportation
  • Free fitness memberships
  • Company stock options

The surveys were conducted over April and May 2008 and included employees and employers from across Canada.

Barrie Carlyle is a Vice-President of David Aplin Recruiting, a Canadian-owned national full-service search firm with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa and Halifax, plus affiliates in Montréal and the U.S.