Emily Long over at NextGov, a sprightly 22 to my elderly 25, has a great post up on what young people want in a work environment--and why they aren't aware that the federal government might be able to provide it:
The study found that 39 percent of Net-Gens need daily or weekly feedback on their performance compared with just a quarter of Baby Boomers. And they want to know what is expected of them, how they are performing and how that is related to their pay.
The report also found that Net-Gens see on-the-job and one-on-one training, peer mentoring and group activities as some of the most effective job training opportunities. Interestingly, online materials and classes and video games fell near the bottom, negating the idea that all young adults must be reached only through technology.
As a college senior, I didn't see the federal workplace as offering this kind of flexibility and engagement. That's not to say it doesn't, but rather that Net-Gens aren't aware of it, and they may be turned off by the perception that government jobs equate to bureaucracy, immobility and boredom. As the report points out, few government organizations "live their vision on a daily basis, have communicated it adequately and, of paramount importance to the Net Generation, show current or potential employees how they personally contribute to the vision and mission."
In other words, federal agencies might want to wait to make new investments in things they think will make them seem cool until they're sure they've communicated every asset in their tool kit.