Xero's Rod Drury wants more BIG help from SMEs on giving Gen Y their first jobs

Getting more young people into their first jobs is an issue that has caught the attention of Xero founder Rod Drury lately.

Drury wrote in his latest blog that Xero, with its 370,000-customer base, can create the ripples needed to help address this important issue of youth employment. 

The nation desperately needs to up the ante on getting younger people into work, into their first jobs. But a few small companies just won’t do the job, he says.

The blog was inspired by Drury's July encounter with founders of Australian financial advisory firm for Gen Y, Wealth Enhancers, Finn Kelly and Sarah Riegelhuth.

Xero already has numerous programmes to get people into the working ladder, Drury writes.

Drury shows Gen Y how to really roll

Of interns and summer of code

“We run a graduate program, have internships, summer of code – the things you’d expect. I think most hi-tech companies recognise the important of getting young people into their business. That’s great, but it doesn’t really move the needle at scale. Just a few companies won’t do it.

“We started to think about how we could address nationally significant issues like youth employment at scale. How could we make a BIG difference.

“As we thought about our customer base, now over 370,000 small businesses, we realised that if we could light up our base of customers on these issues we could make a difference. It’s small business that hires and creates most new jobs. In the past, small businesses were hard to talk to and coordinate, but now with cloud computing we are seeing small businesses connected and engaged online in conversations.

"As a starting point, on this specific issue, we thought we’d begin with educating our base of customers on the Youth Employment issue, and get them think about taking a young person on. We’ve collaborated with Sarah and created a new Small Business Guide. We’ll iterate this guide and launch a number of programs as we understand more about the issue. We’d love your feedback and to hear your experiences of working with young people,” he adds. Full blog here

Why hire Gen Y

Here are some quick reasons why you should have young people in your company:

  • They are enthusiastic and ready to work
  • They’ve grown up in a digital world
  • They are often more adaptable
  • Social media is part of their lives
  • They follow trends
  • They may be more cost effective

Find out whether your company will appeal to Gen X and Gen Y and where to hire young people?