PageGroup: A whopping 95% of young French talent are open to management positions

February 16, 2020
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Is making it to manager still the holy grail for entry-level employees? For an overwhelming majority of new entrants to the job market, the answer is still a resounding yes. 

In fact, according to a recent PageGroup study, 95% of 18-29 year-olds wish or declare that they would consider becoming managers during their career - proof that beyond the typical cons, the role of manager remains an attractive prospect for employees. 

But for what reasons? What are their motivations and what obstacles do they face? Finally, how do managers live this role on a daily basis?

Management: The key to professional success? 

With such high numbers, how then, does one explain the craze when conversely, the new generation seems to demand more and more preference for work/life balance, and meaningful work in general?

Young managers actually want to manage. At the start of your career, vertical progression appears to be a key element, and it is only later that you realize that professional achievement can also go through other types of development, more horizontal or transverse. Young professionals see access to manager status as a symbol of success and, in a way, a professional outcome. Being entrusted with the responsibility of a team is perceived as a pledge of confidence on the part of the hierarchy and a recognition of the technical and human skills which are particularly needed at the start of a career.  

Frédéric Benay, Managing Director at Michael Page

The PageGroup study also reveals a more nuanced situation between generations. While 54% of 18-29 year olds are certain of wanting to become managers, only 30% of the 30-49 year olds aspire to take on this responsibility; a figure that drops to 28% for those over 49. Would employees end up no longer idealizing this role once they are more advanced in the corporate world?

Being a manager means taking on the role of conductor of the team you are responsible for. Organize daily life, delegate tasks, validate deliverables, report to the hierarchy, ensure the cohesion of the team and its professional development. Among employees who do not wish to become managers, 54% are certain that they do not have the skills for this role, 36% do not wish to manage or develop a team, and 34% indicate that they do not want to assume the responsibilities linked to the function.

The salary: A motivation relegated to the background

Against all expectations, the salary increase is not the first motivation lever to become a manager. With only 36%, it even ranks 4th among the main reasons why employees declare that they want to manage. It is above all the "human" dimension of the position that interests and is sought after; 58% of respondents aspire to this role because they want to manage and develop a team. Taking responsibility (49%) and adding a strategic dimension to their position (46%) come next.

And managers - what do they think of their role?

  • They are 3/4 to feel satisfied with their position on a daily basis!
  • 54% appreciate the dimensioning of their position (strategy, operational, team management, etc.)
  • 52% have a clear vision of their objectives and possibilities
  • 46% have a team that collaborates and works the way they want

Gaps in the sexes: Management ambition

 The gender gap continues to close, though more men still aspire to management than women: 86% compared to 79%.

 There is still a self-limiting phenomenon which undeniably slows down the professional advancement of women. Companies, including recruiters, have a real role to play in preventing women from setting their own glass ceiling. Coaching, mentoring, networking sessions, manager training, etc.: many tools exist to help women cultivate and fully assume their leadership.

Frédéric Benay, Managing Director, Michael Page

February 16, 2020

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