Generation Y within the Tax market

The younger generations are making their voices heard by creating new demands within the business world and, consequently, are changing the shape of the workplace as we know it.

Within the tax industry, we are seeing the youngest recruits requesting a better work-life balance, enquiring about sabbaticals, flexible working, secondments, working in other functions and the training opportunities available to them. As a generation they are hard workers and have a ‘can-do’ attitude, largely driven by their desire for self-advancement. It is important for businesses to understand what makes this generation tick, to ensure they can engage with them effectively.

In principle, it’s about being more flexible in your approach.

Values and ethics

Generation Y’s are more likely to be concerned about the type of business they work for, rather than just the company that offers the best salary. They tend to conduct a large amount of research before accepting a role and choose the ‘ethical’ and well-respected companies that fit with their own values.

Short term perspective

As a generation, they think much shorter term than previous generations. This can cause difficulties for employers. Assessing candidates for a long-term fit may prove difficult, as well as retaining staff members. Employers must consider what appeals to Generation Y, such as the opportunities available within a company and the scope for progression.


There is nothing to say that all these considerations and changes in approach aren’t positive for the employment market. The demand for flexibility has caused the ‘gig’ economy to take off in recent years. This industry offers business leaders the opportunity to hire experienced tax staff on a project-by-project basis, as and when needed.

As a tax leader, it is important to utilise this generation’s strengths and understand their weaknesses. Having a Tax team comprising people with differing priorities, motivations & methods of working (i.e whether you spend all day talking into a headset or whether you prefer using good old pen & paper) does not make any of them less committed or important. It’s all about adapting and responding to the different ways of working and understanding how it can best impact your business.