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People’s changing relationship to work
People are looking for more meaningful relationships and this does not stop at work. Potential candidates want to understand the purpose behind their role. And employers like you want to hire the best available talent today, who also have the potential to grow with your business. How can you make this happen?
Julien Gibert, Executive Director PageGroup Switzerland, shares his point of view:
“In a candidate-driven market like Switzerland companies have to adapt quickly to the new reality: candidates have the choice today. The name of the company or the salary are not the deciding criteria anymore. The purpose, the meaningfulness and the WHY I am accepting that particular job, are what matters. Hence, employers have to define those elements and communicate very well on them or they won’t attract the talent they are looking for.”
People want to understand the purpose behind work. They want meaning and to find fulfilment in the tasks they perform. This quest, often talked about in terms of millennials, has cross-generational appeal and is a priority for all candidates today. As a result, it needs to be the same for companies.
By understanding the purpose behind your company and being able to explain it to an audience outside of your employees, you will be able to hire the best available people. Although not all employers do this, the ones who do will more consistently and efficiently attract the talent they need to grow into the companies they wish to become.
Communication and access to information today is quicker, more widespread and deeper than ever. Instant messaging, social media, in-company networks and review sites have opened worlds of information to everyone. Adapting to this new reality through genuine conversations will bring better candidates to your company, because purpose-driven cultures work.
Julien Gibert, ED PageGroup Switzerland:
“Companies with a clear value proposition towards their current employees and future talent win. You don’t need to be the leader or a big name anymore to attract the best ones, you just need to do the right things and communicate accordingly. Companies who do that are now able to attract better talent as salaries and flashy titles are not the most important drivers anymore.”
Key Insight: The search for meaning at work is a key driver for the best available candidates. People communicate differently today. Companies that react to this and speak to candidates and employees with this in mind will prosper over those that do not.
The flexible workforce is growing
The gig economy, interim contracts and temporary contracts have all grown in importance in recent years for employees and employers. There is also a tacit understanding that a job for life no longer exists nor may even be appealing. Harmonisation of social rights, whatever the relationship to work, needs to happen so both full-time and part-time employees are treated the same.
If universal social protection for all workers regardless of their employment status were to be introduced, this would further protect individuals and facilitate the changes the labour market is going through, providing the flexibility employees and employers want.
This calls for a rethinking of local, national and regional labour laws and social protections. The current legal status focuses too narrowly on permanent, full-time contracts. The statistics back this up: temporary contracts grew by 25% in the EU27 from 2001-12 (permanent contracts by 7%), almost half (43.9%) of employees aged 15 to 24 were working on a temporary contract. And in France, Europe’s second biggest economy, six out of 10 new jobs created qualify as temporary or interim positions.
Key Insight: People are willing to work under many different contracts today, but the social safety net has not adapted to this new reality. Employers can drive this change by valuing all employees independent of their contractual relationship, benefitting both parties by creating the flexible workforce you need to grow.
How do you differentiate your company from the competition?
Salary and a good company name used to be the primary motivators for candidates. And job offers that use these parameters do still attract applicants. However, hiring managers admit that interaction with standard form job offers is falling across all platforms.
In today’s landscape, applicants want to understand the achievements and social commitments of companies. They want to know what causes and issues the company supports. They want to know what it is like to work at a company and understand the purpose behind their mission, to deeply understand company values. Why? Because today, people are more aware of equality between genders and minorities and want to see non-discrimination rules put in place to protect themselves and others.
As long as candidates are pre-selected using available technology, why would they not use the tools at their disposal to pre-select employers? Candidates want to understand what position they will occupy, to understand their tasks in a wider context, allowing them to evaluate their real, actual contribution to the company mission to achieve more fulfilment in work and life.
How can you combat this? By being clear about the question's candidates ask, or at least have the answers they are looking for. Michael Page interviews thousands of candidates every week and understanding what candidates look for drives our business. We can help you look at your company from the perspective of potential applicants and come up with responses to the following questions:
Why choose your company over another if the offer is similar?
What type of management do you practice?
What tools will I use to make my work more efficient, effective and productive?
What impact will my work have on the business?
How will I reach my goals?
“Many companies have understood that it is key to create a genuine bottom-up communication channel through internal surveys etc. and act upon it to enforce the feeling of empowerment among the entire staff. Furthermore, independent certification institutes such as “Top Employer” or “A Great Place to Work” not only “force” companies to have a better understanding of their HR processes but also make them listen more closely to their staff.”, explains Julien Gibert, ED PageGroup Switzerland.
Key Insight: A good offer today involves more than just a high salary and a good company name. It should help to differentiate your company from others, but also give an indication of what working with you will be like.