As Canada’s demographics continue to shift, and more and more Baby Boomers retire, employers will be forced to compete for a much smaller, much younger talent pool – Generation Y.

Although an aging workforce has historically been a problem in natural resource industries like mining and oil and gas, the issue is becoming more prevalent in other industries now too, such as insurance and financial services.

You know what they say: the first step is admitting you have a problem. But then what?

Well, first you’ll have to overcome the challenging process of getting internal buy-in for a Gen Y-focused recruiting program, and then you’ll actually have to develop and refine that program.

Chris Baker, National Recruiting Manager at Freedom 55 Financial, recently accepted this challenge at his organization and will share his strategies for getting that essential internal buy-in at the 2013 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Conference on May 14, 2013, in Toronto:

Chris Baker, National Recruiting Manager, Freedom 55 FinancialChanging Minds: Getting Internal Buy-In For A Gen Y-Focused Recruiting Program At Freedom 55 Financial

Chris Baker
National Recruiting Manager
Freedom 55 Financial

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“I will be taking a fun look at some of the stereotypes we faced and discussing how we overcame them by introducing a new strategy to bring more Generation Y into our Financial Security Advisor fold,” Chris says.

“I will be sharing a study of our last 200 hires in 2012 – our first year focusing on Gen Y – and the ‘shocking’ results. Anyone who wants to understand change management in an environment where change can sometimes be strongly resisted should come to the presentation.”

To help you prepare for Chris’ session at the conference, he answered a few quick questions about how Freedom 55 Financial went from zero to 60 on Gen Y recruiting in just one year:

Why are some organizations reluctant to create recruitment initiatives specifically for Gen Y?

Chris Baker: Some of the reluctance may come from the stereotypes attached to Generation Y and the perception that they are “never satisfied” and become “job hoppers.” But the reality is that, for many Generation Y members, certain jobs do not challenge and motivate them, and do not fulfill their career goals.

Yes, the stereotype is mistaken. If employers can simply work with Generation Y to help match their goals and motivation factors when they consider a career position, retention rates will improve and job-hopping will reduce.

Why hadn’t you focused on recruiting Gen Y in the past?

Chris Baker: Some of our financial centres have been very strong at recruiting Generation Y advisors, which is reflected in the average age of our advisors. But many haven’t been so successful. There has sometimes been a misunderstanding regarding the implications of lack of life experience, attitude and work ethic that research tells us is not the case.

How did you know that Freedom 55 Financial needed to develop a Gen Y-focused recruiting program?

Chris Baker: As our advisor workforce ages, we see the need to look to our younger generations and educate them on the great career they can build within the financial services industry and the impact they can make on the families, young and old, that they provide with financial security advice. Research tells us that 43% of clients pick their first financial advisor before age 35, so there is a need for Financial Security Advisors across Canada.

What makes Gen Y different?

Chris Baker: From our research and experience, Generation Y seek four key ingredients in a career:


  • They are technically savvy, connected 24/7.
  • They need constant feedback, to know they are being heard.
  • They appreciate mentors.
  • They flourish in team environments.


  • They need to know their work has a positive impact on those around them.
  • They want to make a meaningful contribution to the success of their company.
  • They are used to multi-tasking and seeing results of their work early and often.


  • They want income they can depend on from an organization that offers reliable benefits.


  • They need to be challenged in many ways.
  • They need flexibility and opportunity for learning and professional growth.
  • They want to have fun while they are working.
  • For them, work is a lifestyle choice, so fitting into the company culture is key indicator in their ability to succeed.

Recruiting is a challenge in that online content must always be current, interesting and relevant to multiple backgrounds. This, in turn, means we must always dedicate resources to being on top of this content. It is an opportunity because now more than ever we have new ways to reach out and more information to share. It has forced us to reconnect with our opportunity and promote what makes being a Financial Security Advisor different and exciting.

What are you doing to attract top Gen Y talent now that you have internal buy-in for your program?

Visit Freedom 55 Financial's employer profile on

Freedom 55 Financial’s profile on TalentEgg

Chris Baker: We are using a combination of content for TalentEgg, including releasing our new HD career videos exclusively to TalentEgg first. Visit Freedom 55 Financial’s employer profile on TalentEgg to see the videos.

We are also redeveloping our career page, reducing the “wordy” content, and providing more interactivity to help explain our opportunity to Gen Y.

Furthermore, we are using social media to market the “career” – not just job listings but information on the industry and our history.

We are making a concerted effort to provide knowledge of the career and ignite the passion for helping families succeed financially.

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Don’t miss Chris’ session:

Register now to attend the 2013 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference