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Bridging the Generation Gap

Candidate AttractionGraduate Recruitment

The generation gap. It's a fact of life. From home life as parents of teens to managing fresh graduates at work, it's a daily scenario that can present challenges.

So much has changed since we were youngsters. Or has it? To navigate the sometimes complex behavioural trends of any generation requires experience and a dose of fresh insights in order to keep your finger firmly on the pulse. A recent conference addressed these issues, and more, providing some valuable lessons for over 80 recruiters last week in London. As chair of the very first Early Careers Development Conference, I was honoured to share the stage with experts in youth recruitment from Sky, City & Guilds, AXA, Dyson, Tesco and Barclays. I calculated the speakers alone had a combined experience of over 100 years of engaging and developing early talent let alone the audience! If you couldn't make it here's a few points we shared; 1. Soft skills are now the hard skills - No longer are communication skills, commercial awareness and being a team player deemed "soft". They are very much a necessity in today's demanding work place according to Kirstie Donnelly MBE, MD of City & Guilds. GRB can echo that statement based on the criteria many of our clients seeking not just academic brilliance but other skills in equal measure. 2. Mentors, Buddies, Knowledge hubs and Management training - These components are the "glue" to ensure a smooth transition from school or university to the workplace, minimise poor retention rates and maximise the return on investment. So often the relationship between new starter and line manager is overlooked so is it a risk worth taking? One recruiter alleviated this by involving line managers in interviews. What could you do? 3. Are they the "job hopping" generation? - A question posed by a recruiter who had spent 14 years with the same employer. GRBs student panel quickly refuted the claim stating that employers aren't stepping stones as long as the opportunity offered good remuneration, a strong community feel and team environment, job security and clear career development steps. The panel agreed that an employee from any generation would want these elements so the overriding message is to look after your staff as best as possible but also plan for their exit with a succession plan and talent pipeline. These are just a few of the lessons from the conference. For many more insights please drop me an email with your questions to [email protected].

Dan Hawes is the Co-Founder of the GRB Group. He hopes to enlighten students, graduates and employers with his wisdom from over 25 years in the industry.

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