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Don't get carried away, Gen Y job seekers warned

February 2008

Don't get carried away, Gen Y job seekers warned

A leading recruitment consultant has warned young job seekers not to get carried away with their own sense of importance, or they could find themselves without jobs - despite the skills shortage.

Kim Smith, division director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting in Auckland, issued the warning after interviewing a candidate who had no CV, but produced a written list of demands that any future employer must meet.

"First of all," says Ms Smith, "she was looking for a role that would last only six to 12 months, as she intended to do her OE after that time. Secondly, she wanted any new employer to reimburse her the $4,500 exam fees for the Chartered Accountant exam she had just passed.

"And finally, she wanted $10,000 to $15,000 more than the going rate for her level because she 'knows the market is good and clients are willing to pay'."

Ms Smith told the job seeker she couldn't represent her with that attitude, and wished her the best of luck in her job search.

"There is no doubt there is a real skills shortage for newly qualified chartered accountants," she says. "But employers are not so desperate they will hire someone who obviously intends to give no commitment to their work, or who insists on being paid well above the market rate.

"Young, skilled professionals are in the driver's seat in employment negotiations in today's market - but only if they can convince employers they will add value to the organisation and be an asset. Someone with such a sense of entitlement as this candidate is unlikely to persuade any employer to start negotiating with them." Gen Y job seekers, just like all other job seekers, have to realise that while employers may have to impress them, they still had to impress employers as well, she says.

"By entering your job search with the right attitude - employers may be lucky to find you, but you are just as lucky to find a good employer and do owe them value for the money they are paying you - you are much more likely to find your perfect job."


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