Today’s students and recent grads are different.

Forget the tired stereotypes of entitlement and poor work ethic – these are attributes typical of youthfulness, not qualities unique to Generation Y-ers.

Some of the real attributes that make the current generation of Canadian youth different are an unparalleled level of tech savvy – and an unprecedented emphasis on meaningful work.

It’s also true that Generation Y is a generation of “gamers,”  thriving in competitive situations, striving to achieve rankings and constantly portraying different roles.

A student today who fails a math test will conclude that he or she is bad at math. The same student will continue to play a game, failure after failure, until they are satisfied with their score.

In other words, when you give today’s students the opportunity to challenge their own performance – to beat their own scores – you unlock the best of Gen Y’s drive, determination and will to learn.

Applying gamification to career development

The effort that students and grads invest in games has great potential when it comes to engaging new Gen Y hires in your workplace – particularly if you combine this “gamification” with the motivating power of rewards.

But how can games enable the coming generation of prospective employees?

Can the concepts behind gamification help young people face the unfamiliar challenges of career development?

If so, how can it embrace the spirit of competition while allowing everyone to participate, regardless of what they study or where they go to school?

The answer lies in offering youth the right kind of challenges – challenges that help them get the career development opportunities they need to make a successful transition from school to work.

Introducing TalentEgg Challenges 

On February 25th, we launched TalentEgg Challenges, a career development platform where students and grads tackle relevant online Challenges presented in partnership with innovative brands, organizations and employers.

After completing a Challenge, participants receive a review of the skills and experiences gained, which can easily be added directly to their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Top performers in each Challenge are also eligible for a range of prizes, including employment opportunities, cash and career-related experiences.

TalentEgg Challenges isn’t a game in and of itself – rather, it’s a serious opportunity to gain experience.

But by applying the theories around gamification to the act of gaining experience and verifying skills, we’re making the process of career development more accessible and relevant to students and recent grads, helping them position themselves for meaningful employment.

By hosting this opportunity online as part of our large and popular platform, we’re connecting directly with an engaged Gen Y audience, while ensuring equal access to participants from across the country and with different degrees and socio-economic backgrounds.

At TalentEgg, we’ve always been known for delivering career information in a way that’s relevant to young Canadians. With TalentEgg Challenges, we’ve taken this commitment one step further – providing career development opportunities to top candidates from all backgrounds, all over the country.

What does this mean for you, as recruiters? 

In a recent presentation, we shared with our audience of campus recruiters that, in the world of marketing and communications, “giving back” is a smart and often used strategy for creating brand champions and meaningful connections with customers.

Recent examples are Olympic sponsorships of various athletes and the commercials that go along with them, showcasing to the world that a particular brand is supportive of something important, relevant and timely.

Giving back to students and grads and helping them grow creates an unprecedented opportunity to build connections. Some of Canada’s campus recruitment leaders appreciate this and are reaping the rewards. Popular employment branding campaigns like RBC Career Launch and PwC’s “Personal Branding Week” (winner of a TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Award) teach youth skills and therefore “give back.” The reward for them is increased and positive brand visibility and long-lasting candidate relationships. Participating in Challenges allows you to boost your employer branding while simultaneously cultivating a new cohort of brand ambassadors.

Challenges isn’t just a new way to screen potential applicants by seeing their work in action. It’s also a profound opportunity for you, as employers, to show students and grads that you are investors and supporters of youth and youth employment – that you are champions of Generation Y.

See Challenges in action!