While around 2000 long-term commitment and caring much about the future where not the main aspects young talent was searching for, the EU talent market saw a change in preferences and goals over the past years. As of 2008/2009 with the start of the US-Financial crisis shortly followed by the EU-economic crisis, Job Security rose continuously as a driver of attractive employment. Especially Young Talent that started their higher education around or shortly after this time, so those entering the job market since the past couple of years, is fully aware, that a crisis like the last can easily change their life. Examples from Southern Europe, but also around the globe are constantly present and provide living examples how fast a whole generation can end without having a qualified job.
Employability & Career opportunities provided by a Higher Education Institution (HEI) are today, for a vast majority of students around the globe, the most important aspects for choosing a particular university or study program. Similar in importance resides the factual expertise in a particular field or function provided by means of the Educational Offering of a HEI.
The context has made young talent today more than ever aware of the fact that:
- Young Talent experiences a continuous renewal where education, work and leisure will occur at different life-times.
- Competencies and Skills need to be adjusted continuously and new ones need to be learned
- Retirement is not necessarily linked to a particular age.
This leads to a situation, where on an individual level this talent begins to develop a mindset of permanent beta & scalable learning based on which the young generation of talented workers shows particular attitudes at the workplace. But all directed towards one overall goal: Life-long employability. Meaning to have the right assets in terms of competencies (skills, knowledge and attitudes) to remain employed or gain new employment where needed.
However, also as employee the individual continuous his quest for employability and requests several aspects in line with this from an attractive / ideal employer – all of them guided by a rather conservative set of values and overall long-term orientation. In the following 3 aspects we see in several European Talent Surveys conducted by Universum in 2014:
- Management: Needs to seek to develop and encourage young talent in their development. Good leaders are enablers which manage to unlock some passion in their co-workers. In the quest for continuous learning and improvement, todays Management Style needs to be built around open communication and feedback. Long-lasting and deep relationships are core objectives of young talent. And if some organizations have problems in promoting the right people to become managers, they need to at least ensure, that every team has one skilled leadership-person.
- Benefits: Status symbols have changed! Well, not entirely. Of course a nice company car is still attractive. Extra pay or compensation obviously as well. Who knows what future will bring. Thus Pension schemes are en vogue for young people again. On a side note: Young talent wants to get married and become parents within the first 3 years of their working Life (Vorwerk Familienstudie, 2013; Embrace: Values in GenY, 2014). But the most desirable benefit for young workers is continuous training and development.
- Work-Life-Blending: Nothing more important than to have a positive work atmosphere. What else will keep you healthy and in good spirit than this. Too often this generation is confronted with burned and bored-out co-workers. Young Talent has seen with their parents that work is not everything. Thus Work-Life Balance was the #1 Career Goal for many years. However, today the terms Work-Life Blending and Life Careerism are being heard more frequently out there as talent understands that they are now in a position where they can use their career to fully exploit their own potential and realize their dreams. By the way: This does not mean, that leisure time and family planning are not important. No, not at all. But the day has 24 hrs, right?
Summing up, we currently are facing a generation entering and shaping the workforce that is different in their mindset than a couple of years ago, but lot has happened in the past 5-10 years. And this generation still is grown up as individualists in an individualistic world.