This couldn't be true - could it Gen Y a flighty job lot June 21, 2007 THEY'RE flighty, they're fickle, they're selfish. Meet Generation Y, the sons and daughters of today's middle managers. They've been a worry for their parents and now the demographic branded "Gen Y" is becoming a headache for employers, who are at a loss about how to hang on to the 18 to 26-year-olds. The solution is don't bother, the market researcher Neer Korn said in a provocative but humorous address to a business lunch in Melbourne yesterday. "Hire people in their late 20s when they've passed that stage." According to Mr Korn, "that stage" ends in their late 20s, when Gen Y starts to think long-term for the first time. "Better still, hire baby boomers. They make the best employees. Nobody wants to hire them," Mr Korn said. "They're looking for work. They don't go off and get pregnant ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ they have no egos." Mr Korn, director of the market and social research firm Heartbeat Trends, characterised Gen Y as self-centred but with their unshakeable optimism. After witnessing the trauma of their parents being retrenched, Gen Y had no faith in employers. They have no wish to spend years inching forward in careers. They think short-term. Their aim is to gain experience, not wealth. Employers must recognise and connect with the high level of optimism and self-esteem that come with Gen Y. They are always looking for shortcuts to success, smarter ways of doing things. So how do companies hang on to them? Mr Korn offered tips: They despise hypocrisy, and they're more loyal to the team than the company - find them mentors and think laterally about opportunities they can gain, for example in an overseas posting. Remove the glass wall that divides a Gen Y-er's rich life from their workplace. But most of all, he said, "it's the little things that count. It's the little cups of coffee, it's a little chat here and there, it's a little tap on the back".