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Extreme Measures

How to attract Generation Y employees

This story appears in the June 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Imagine a group of strangers picked to work together and go on weekend adventures to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start being real. Sounds like a new MTV show, right? Believe it or not, it's your company-or at least it should be. With the labor pool shrinking and the economy expanding, today's college grads don't have to accept just any old job offer. And their expectations are higher: A survey of Gen Y college students by O'Connor Kenny Partners Inc., a communications firm in Memphis, found the number-one thing they're looking for in a job is a fun working environment.

So what's a company to do? More are offering cool outings as part of their benefits packages to attract new workers. There are companies that'll take care of all the details-San Francisco-based Absolute Adventures Inc., for one, will organize weekly activities based on employees' interests. For no start-up fee but $25 per month per participant, you can choose from a variety of discounted activities-from swing dancing and whale-watching trips to kayaking with sea otters.

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