Y employ unreliable youths?

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Frustrated with the unreliability of so-called 'Generation Y' employees, Australia's accounting firms and are said to be briefing recruiters to supply only baby boomer candidates aged 55 years or more.

Jason Cartwright, general manager of client services at Melbourne-based Link Recruitment, reports his firm has been briefed by four accounting practices over the last few months, seeking only older employees.

Cartwright says the firms have found that younger employees are hard to attract due to a general skills shortage, often receive counter-offers before the recruitment process can be completed, do not have a good customer service ethic, have inflated expectations of moving into senior management roles, and (to cap it all) are hard to retain.

"It's a direct reaction against Generation Y," Cartwright says. "They are too expensive and too unreliable."

John Banks, a director of Talent2, says slightly older Generation X employees are probably a better option for accounting firms, who are looking for greater maturity among employees.

"We have organisations saying they do want someone with grey hair," he says. "There is a perception that people in Generation Y have a greater loyalty to their career than their company.

Some organisations are beginning to understand how to manage Generation Y, but there are others that prefer to hire older people."

Cordiner King partner Rob Pocknee says there is evidence this is happening at the most senior levels as well. "I'm getting the sense that more experienced people are becoming more valued. Our clients are becoming more open minded about people's age. We seem to have placed more people at higher ages - they have a lot of experience to offer."

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