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Here´s something to chew on with your morning coffee:They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but a new survey from Boston-based Novations Group reveals that when it comes to Gen Y workers, your window of opportunity to make a lasting impact is pretty small.

After polling more than 2,500 senior HR execs, Novations finds more than half (51%) believe employers have less than six months to "prove" to Gen Y employees that the company is the best place for them. Even more startling, one-quarter of respondents say they have less than a month.

Good grief! A month? Seriously? Okay, we all know Gen Yers want to walk across the stage straight into a corner office with a view. They want a boss that will mentor them and tell them daily how great they are, all so they can turn around and take said mentor´s job in under a year. And they want a high salary and flexible hours as they save the world one blog, Twitter and text message at a time. Kinda hard to lay the groundwork for all that in 30 days, dontcha think?

Novations Executive Consultant Tim Vigue feels employers´ pain. Noting that Gen Yers "tend to be impatient when told they have to wait and pay their dues, HR departments are seeing unusually rapid turnover among Gen Ys and they´re not sure what to do about it."

He offers some tips for Gen Y retention, among them explaining how the work they´re doing makes a difference and outlining early on opportunities for them to learn and grow. It´s certainly legitimate advice, and in Gen Yers' defense, no one should stay at a job that truly isn't right for them.

But at what point, if ever, should employers hit these youngsters with a cold dose of reality? That it's not the company that has to "prove" itself to you, it's the other way around? That in this life, you have to work hard to get ahead, and it just might take a little longer than six months?Vigue blames Gen Yers´ parents for the life affirming messages that have spawned their children´s entitlement attitude. "Gen Y parents taught them they´re special, that they can do anything, and as such should not settle for less than what they deserve."

I know it´s hard to find polished talent out there, particularly in this economy. But I´m of the mindset that an employer is an employer, not a life coach. I say let the deprogramming begin.

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