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Attrition is not due to Gen Y but because of number of opportunities, believes Seema Arora Nambiar, Sr. Director People resources, McDonald’s (Hardcastle Restaurants PVT LTD). Ankur Tandon, Marketing Manager, CareerBuilder India talks to Seema on different horizons connected with HR department, employees and organization.

Your thoughts on Gen X and Gen Y hiring:

Ahem, so the beauty with generations is that they are not really different, it’s just that they have different ages, and I think by and large what people forget is what you did when you were 20 years not when you are 30. Attrition when you are 20 is always going to be high purely because that’s your age to explore. The opportunities are different today, and hence we have classified them as Gen X and Gen Y. So, many of us, when we were in 20’s didn’t have the option, you either became a doctor or you became a lawyer, or if you were really bad, you can go into hotels. Today, they have a lot more options, and as a result of it, they choose to exercise the options, which is why you may see attrition at a higher level. I don’t think, it’s a lack of commitment, I think it’s the ability to explore what exactly they want to do. And I talk to most of my colleagues and actually my friends, who are parents, so in most cases, we would have done that too if we had the options, so, I don’t think there is a difference in attrition.

When do people stop exploring job opportunities?

It’s difficult to say this, because by the time Gen Y reaches the age at which Gen X is today, they probably stop exploring as well. Because it’s a life stage piece that you stop exploring at, it’s not a generation. So, if you say, I’m a Gen X and have stop exploring, then I haven’t. Yeah, I’m still lucky that I can afford to explore because I don’t have kids, so I don’t have responsibilities, but in most cases by the time you are here, you have kids in college, you have got a home EMI, you have got parents who are ailing, you have got home to manage, all of those things normally take the curiosity out of you very quickly. And I don’t think there is a Gen X or Gen Y or Gen Next, it’s as they come up with responsibilities, it is the choices you make. So, I don’t think the attrition is different or their interests are different.

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Was lack of jobs a major problem that job seekers faced in the last decade?

You know, I wouldn’t be able to quantify that if we look at the late 1980’s to the early 1990’s, there were not many opportunity. Where would you go, if you have tried it. So, you had a lot of people, who were really stuck in bad jobs, because, they didn’t have a choice, not because they wanted to do it. The minute that market opened up, the IT booms a great testament to that because the people did move. So, if you are actually bucketed by number of years and kind of over layered with the economy, you would really see it’s not a generation of problem, it’s actually the economy which moved and people got chances & opportunities.

Is social media recruitment beneficial?

I think it’s too nascent for me too even give you a number to you at this point but it will have a high impact.        So, today, most of our recruitment has gone online, very rarely you need a consultant unless, it’s a head hunting consignment, otherwise, everyone’s just using online portals. We have hired so many people of my personal LinkedIn page, forget anything else; and this is just people who write in to you because they are ready to approach you directly. So, you know, you are actually just cutting out a complete line in the middle, which could’ve filtered people from reaching the end hole. So, I think, it do play a very large role.

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How do you differentiate between Gen X and Gen Y while hiring?

From a talent point of view, I would definitely give it to Gen Y. I think, they are more aware and they are more able to learn. Gen Next is superb, which is the next generation, but they are actually probably the most aware, they are also probably socially more aware. So, every generation learns from the one before them and I think, our parents who were more structured then we are, we are still structured and Gen Y is a little freer, Gen next is absolutely free. So, I don’t think, they live their life in walls, they are very vocal, they are very clear, they want to ask you questions. They will ask the transparency, so the other day, if I have kids come home, one was the first year engineering student in IIT Bombay and the other one was the third year psychology student in a graduate college in Mumbai. They were representing a NGO that works with Battered Women. And I looked at this 18 year old kid and said what are you doing here, he was a male kid, it’s like, you just got into IIT and you should be partying, he said, no, this is something that I believe and this is something that I wanted to do he is 80.

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Is fading human interaction a result of excess online presence?

I think it’s also a little overboard because they have forgotten what human interaction means. So, when you talk to your 20 years olds or 22 years olds, if you msg them, they will respond, if you call them they won’t pick up the phone, and it’s a trend, I have watched this with multiple people. So, I think, they are actually going to the way where they have stopped interacting and they don’t understand people as much, so there has to be a balance. The good news in India is that we still have extended families living with us, and so the human interaction happens at home, it is difficult but it is there.

Do you prefer judging candidates according to their social media presence?

I don’t think, I have structured it that much in my head. I don’t know if you can put a formula to it.
But I think, if you will see the combination from the short listing, I think, it will be credentials not so much the social piece because that is the part of someone’s personal life. Those are choices you make outside, and I don’t think it’s fair to judge somebody on their social choices. We had a couple of incidences where people have lost their jobs in very senior positions as well based on their social media profiles and personally I am not a believer of that.

What do you think would be the next big hiring tool?

There would be hiring through the mobile phones-the users apps. How interesting we would make it or how disruptive we make it. It isn’t about how much money you give them, it’s about how interesting you make the job.

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