ManpowerGroup France talks attracting and retaining talent across generations

March 8, 2020
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Around the world, while the majority of employers have undertaken measures to increase or maintain their workforce, the job market remains tight and 54% of companies struggle to find the profiles they lack. 

So how do you attract and retain talent in conditions like these?

ManpowerGroup conducted a study with 14,000 people from 15 countries. The results combine its understanding of the challenges of the labor market with the data that the Group has collected for more than 10 years as part of its annual survey on the talent shortage. Depending on generation, gender, or career development, the expectations of individuals differ and companies must adapt more than ever.

More than half of companies worldwide find it difficult to recruit

The talent shortage is reaching an unprecedented level: more than half of global companies (54%) cannot find professionals whose skills meet their expectations. It's a figure that has almost doubled in ten years (30% in 2009).

This phenomenon is particularly true for large companies: 72% of companies with more than 250 employees face talent shortages vs 53% for those employing less than 50 employees, and 40% for companies with less than 10 employees.

Adapting to expectations that differ between generations, a major challenge for attracting and retaining talent

Whatever the age, gender or geographic area of ​​the respondents, compensation, intellectual stimulation and flexibility are among the top 3 expectations of employees. However, significant differences exist between generations and suggest changes in the years to come:

  • Generation Z (18-24 years old): Wages are priority!

The 18-24 year olds are ambitious and determined to earn a comfortable living, especially women who give twice as much importance to wages as the possibility of developing skills, their second priority. After decades of inequality against them, women graduates are now more likely than men to enter the labor market, and seem determined to no longer compromise on the issue of wages.

  • Millennials (25-34 years old): Flexibility - a plus for men, an imperative for women!

The 25-34 year old women and men have more or less the same aspirations. Aware that their career does not look like a long, calm river, they want flexibility to go the distance. Women in particular are ready to take up professional challenges but not at the expense of their life balance. Men however place “stimulating missions” before the criterion of flexibility.

  • Gen X (35-54 years old): For everyone, a work/life balance comes first!

Generation X wants to reconcile work and private life more harmoniously, for both women and men. As they are now more experienced, they demand greater flexibility (35-44 years). On the other hand, for the seniors of this generation (45-54 years), the attractiveness of a company rests more on “stimulating work” than “flexibility”, this criterion remaining however the 2nd factor of male loyalty.  

  • Baby Boomers (55-64 years old): Make way for the common good! 

Even if money remains an important factor of attractiveness and loyalty, baby boomers feel less of the desire to grow professionally. Their wish: to stimulate their intellect, to work in a team, to transmit their knowledge to young people. At the end of their careers, they are more animated by the common good and by giving meaning to their work.

This new survey shows to what extent companies must put HR at the heart of their business strategy and take into account the expectations specific to each generation. Because if remuneration remains a major lever of attractiveness for all, the wishes and motivations of employees differ over the years. It is up to the company to adapt, to develop a sufficiently fine knowledge of the talents it needs, and to offer some more flexibility, to others more assessments and training to progress in the business ... To attract and retain customers, we are increasingly moving towards almost personalized routes

Alain Roumilhac, President, ManpowerGroup France

March 8, 2020

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