Organisations with a keen eye on the future of their businesses are already working hard to recruit next-generation leaders. As vice president of information systems and computing at the University of Pennsylvania, Robin Beck spends plenty of time thinking about the best ways to attract and groom new talent.

"We believe flexible work arrangements, strong benefits, training programs and interesting work all help with both Gen X and Gen Y," she says.

Beck says workers want different things from their jobs depending on who they are and where they are in their own lives. Some value flextime, others job security. Everyone wants interesting and meaningful work.

Jeff Schwartz, global and US talent leader at Deloitte Consulting, says most organisations need to better accommodate individual needs if they want to successfully recruit the best young workers.

Most IT organisations, Schwartz says, lack a targeted, aggressive recruiting strategy. Instead, they rely on the company's overall brand and word of mouth, which isn't particularly effective, he adds.

Moreover, companies need to "create targeted programs for different generations of workers," he says. Deloitte's research has found that millennials, particularly those in IT, are looking for "opportunities to work with senior staff and company leaders," says Schwartz.

"A hallmark of this generation is its desire to change positions regularly to gain experience in a range of roles throughout the organisation," he says. "You can address this desire by working with Gen Y employees to identify their deep-rooted skills, interests and knowledge, find their best fit in the organisation, and craft the job design and conditions that help them perform."

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