IT jobs battlefield for Gen Y
IT industry’s Gen Y'ers have been hit the hardest by the financial crisis that pushed them back behind more experienced Gen X professionals.
IT division manager New Zealand at Randstad Michelle Pearson, said last year Gen Y job seekers “probably got a bit of a shock” when the employment market suddenly shifted from an employee- to an employer-driven environment.
“They couldn’t be as demanding as they might have been in previous years.”
While between 2007 and 2008 the number of IT professionals looking for work was high, skill shortages on the market meant newly capped Gen Yers had an abundance of jobs available to them putting them in a superior basket.
“In some instances new entry developers, for example, were on salaries that would now be an equivalent of an intermediate or close to a senior [professional’s] salary and that was driven by the fact that we were in a candidate short market.
“I guess the stereotypical Gen Y'er is somebody who wants a lifestyle and who wants to progress really quickly and when you are in a candidate short market you can do that.”
When the recession hit, senior – Gen X – IT professionals were prepared to take a $20,000-30,000 salary drop when looking for employment.
“So that probably weeded out some opportunities for the Gen Y'ers,” Mrs Pearson said.
While this presented a reality check for younger professionals who hadn’t previously lived through recessionary times, more mature professionals proved to be willing to make sacrifices to secure employment and therefore their future and that of their families.
Mrs Pearson said the financial crisis broke the stereotyping around generations and transformed the fabric of the employment market forever.
Now, more than 50% of New Zealand businesses actively recruit professionals in the age group of 49 plus. This is a new trend brought by the recession and it is here to stay, said Mrs Pearson.
Employers are hiring new staff based more and more on skills, experience and education, rather than what is now considered a no longer an important factor such as age.
“Employers are treating people as individuals, rather than boxing people in to specific generations.
“And I think that needs to happen more and more, because our workforce is going to be ever changing and with the mature aged people staying in the workforce longer you’re going to have a really wide range of people, so they are going to need be to be treated as individuals.”