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Posts Tagged ‘recruitment’

“Post-80s” (generation born after 1980) or “post-90s” continues to be a popular topic in the media lately.  According to a local paper, many corporations are seeing post-80s employees as one of their top human resource challenges these days.  Apparently there are now training courses organized for managerial staff to understand and interact properly with our next generation of workforce. 

The human resource consulting firm being interviewed reports the top 9 characteristics of post-80s workforce:

  • Poor concentration
  • Poor reading skills
  • Impatient
  • Difficult to communicate
  • Overly confident
  • Poor punctuality
  • Poor personal conduct
  • Irresponsible and poor accountability
  • Overly temperamental

Though I am sure there is a bunch of people who are guilty with such characteristics, it’s also time for employers to start adapting their managerial style according to the times.  Many younger recruits are not used to listening to orders because of their unique ways of being brought up.  Family sizes are smaller, there are fewer siblings, and many of them are used to being pampered by all material and financial means.  The new generation is often confident in their own ways, and they are raised to question authority at all times.  Managers who still stick with announcing orders without rationalization are only asking for trouble.  A new managerial style has to be adapted, and the first step to do is to learn how to embrace the new generation of workforce.

What are the new rules?  I am no expert, but off the top of my head I can come up with a few.

  • Don’t be condescending.  Attitude is important, and it should be a two-way street.  Assuming rightaway the post-80s is a group of whining needy kids will only add to the tension.  Don’t talk down to them, and don’t use phrases like “You know how lucky you guys are?  Back in the days, I wished that someone would have spent the time to teach me like I am doing for you right now!”
  • Get rid of the “Because I told you!”  The new generation needs to be convinced through lots of questions and answers.  Their new thinking may spark new solutions which is well worth the added time invested. 
  • Be patient.   Like raising kids, sometimes you have to let them make their own mistakes.  I know it is definitely costly for corporations to allow their staff to make mistakes, but think about it, his other departmental colleagues or external clients are of his generation as well.  What we view as mistakes now may be a norm in the new era.
  • Focus on results rather than the process.  Since the process is going to be challenged anyway, why not allow them to make up some rules themselves?  However, the new rules still have to be socially accepted by others, meaning no one can skip work claiming they are “working from home”.
  • Nurturing.  I know, the workplace is meant for business, but if we understand the social reality of the new generation, managers nowadays also need to be the psychological coach of new recruits.  There is no guarantee that the new joiners will prove to be a valuable asset to the company, but not spending the time to teach them responsibility and accountability, for example, will only lead to disastrous results.  Set the expectation low, and there is no harm to overly communicate. 
  • Positive reinforcement.  When staff feels that they are being rewarded or acknowledged of an accomplishment, the motivation is often so strong that a momentum will be created.  Don’t be stingy with the compliments, be humble and take advantage of their creative juices and unorthodox thinking.

All in all, bitching alone will never bring any solution.  We should all face the reality and ask ourselves what is something we can do to bridge the gap.  After all, who says the negative qualities are possessed only by the post-80s?  Aren’t you equally mad at that other colleague of yours who have been around forever and unwilling to accept any new ideas?

Let’s make sure we do not turn into those we used to despise, period.

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There was an interview of a 26 year-old Mr. Leung on a local newspaper two days ago that has created a heated sensation in the city.  Mr. Leung has a graduate degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, though his qualifications haven’t brought him any luck in the job front for the past two years.  On the news video, you can see Mr. Leung describing himself as a victim who is oppressed by society and discriminated by employers because of his lack of work experience and overqualified CV. 

The news story failed to draw sympathies from anyone, except today’s paper posted a follow-up story about a local restaurant offering Mr. Leung a position waiting tables.  Leung’s response was: “I am having three or four offers now and I would like to think about it for a few days before responding.”

Well, nothing wrong with that, but not after painting a sob story in front of millions of onlookers in the city.

My verdict?  It will be a few more years before Mr. Leung finds a stable job, I’m sad to say.

  • Attitude.  With tens of thousands of fresh graduates coming out every year with similar background, why Mr. Leung thinks jobs would be handed to him on a silver platter is beyond me.  He thinks his qualifications are being looked down upon by the employers.  I will be too, and it’s not about the certificate he is holding.  I am just questioning how he got to graduate in the first place with such poor critical thinking skills.
  • Presence.  Unmanaged hair, poor posture, stunted speech, lack of eye contact… are just a few physical traits anyone can witness from the news video.  Again, this has nothing to do with him being a grad school graduate.  Mr. Leung claimed that McDonald’s rejected him because he was overqualified, though I bet no fast food chain would have hired someone with an obvious challenge in human interaction.
  • Rationale.  Without reflecting on himself, Leung believes his pain and ordeal is inflicted by the Hong Kong government.  He claims that Hong Kong’s spoon-fed education system creates graduates with less than adequate socializing skills.  That is just a slap on the face to all the other teenagers.  If Mr. Leung has so successfully completed his studies with flying colors, what will he say to the hard-working kids who cannot even afford the tuition to complete their studies in the first place? 
  • Tactic.  I cannot imagine a grad school graduate attacking the job market with a total loss of focus.  Interviewing for 200 jobs?  It’s not how eager or how many posts one would go for that proves dertermination.  It’s about building a compelling case in front of the employers how our distinctive qualifications, personality and mindset can bring to the posts.  There should be at least a drawn path of application.  Leung might have done it, but from the short abrupt answers he provided for the employment agency representative, I am hardly convinced.

This, is scarier than the horror movie I watched last night.

The Cantonese video coverage of the story can be found here.  Part 1   Part 2

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Recruitment videos not only serve as compelling tools to attract potential employees, they are also classic corporate advertising videos for generations to come and enjoy.  I invite you to sample a few memorable recruitment videos that will give you inspirations of what key elements should be incorporated in order to capture the audience. 

  • “It Was A Happy Day” is a joyous recruitment video put together by Ernst & Young in 2001.  It is so memorable that it is one of the most talked about corporate videos ever.

  • It’s a grueling 9-minute video by Southwest Airlines, appropriately titled “Just Plain Fun”.  Be warned, the video is hypnotizing!  By the way, the administrative purchasing portrayal is just embarrassing.

  • I simply do not understand why the Taiwanese armed forces would need to recruit when they already have transformers on their force!

  • Ok I just cannot resist to include this ad for the Japanese navy.   You be the judge, and tell me what you think.

  • This is a college recruitment video instead, for Appalachian State University in 2005 (!!!!).  Seriously, they couldn’t come up with anything more sophisticated than “Hot, Hot, Hot” ?  There are subtitles and you can find it in all karaoke boxes in town.  Sing along!

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