China's Generation Y (a la Wikipedia) China's Generation Y (Gen Y) is a generation of approximately 240 million people born between 1980 and 1990, although characteristics of Generation Y people have also been seen in those born after 1990 but before 2000. Growing up in modern China, China’s Gen Y has been characterized by its optimism for the future, newfound excitement for consumerism and entrepreneurship and acceptance of its historic role in transforming modern China into an economic superpower.
Now , if you ask a table full of HR professionals how they would describe Generation Y in China you may get an ear full of information with a slightly different feeling>
From BusinessWeek's recent article on "China's B School Boom" one gains the sense that young China, the next generation of managers, entreprenuers and leaders expect to work hard, take risks and anticipate big payoffs.
What I see day to day is that where Gen X in China sought extra qualifications or training to get a decent job, and their fathers were looking for the security of a civil service position with a lifelong pension, the twenty somethings today aren't even worrying about getting a job, they "know" they will, they see it as their birthright, their approach is "what can I do to take advantage of these opportunities and maximize my income in the fastest, most efficient way"
This is the generation I faced last night in the form of a single candidate.
I won't get too into the specifics of the client or the search or the candidate himself but the offer and the candidate's reaction speak volumes about the market here and what HR Managers are facing everyday.
One of our clients (global, Fortune 100, great culture) thought highly enough of a candidate of ours to make an offer that would double the candidates salary. This is usually looked on as a "good offer" in my field. We are currently seeing salary increases in the 20-30% range at the moment. Our candidate was not too impressed, actaully he was kind of bored by it. He had been working now for four years (total) and felt that he should be a manager, or, maybe, they could let him "get into marketing."
This is a more and more common reaction we are seeing from this generation and I think we will be in for a bit more before it subsides. The market is hot and Gen Y speaks the international language of money: English. At lower positions they are able to move around easily and make large increases in their salaries but as the positions demand more I think we will see these candidates hit their highs pretty early and experience an adjustment. Hubris will only take you so far and, at the moment, I don't worry that this will be a permanent problem.
Of course we haven't talked about generation Z....