Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® From now on, it regularly publishes the study results of Universum Communications, a global employer branding consultancy. In the second part of the interview, Stefan Lake, Country Manager Germany, reports on current trends in the labor market and strategies for employer branding.
Stefan Lake has been 2011 Country Manager Germany of Universum Communications since February, the global employer branding consulting firm. His main focus is the development of authentic and sustainable employer positioning as well as quantitative and qualitative market research, brand consulting, brand development and communication consulting.
They publish the Young Professional Study since 2008 on an annual basis: What developments have you been able to capture over the years?
In the rankings of the most attractive Company It is particularly noteworthy how well the carmakers are presenting themselves from the point of view of the young professionals over the years: they have always been at the top and are as attractive as never before this year! This is certainly due to the importance of the automotive industry in Germany and its economic success.
There is also a trend in the long-term career goals, which is increasingly stabilizing: For the young professionals, the work-life balance, ie a good balance between work and private life, has been the most important career goal for many years. The young professionals in Germany do not differ in this respect from those in other nations. Noteworthy is the increasing importance attached to the goal of pursuing a secure and stable job. Job security is now the second most important career goal!
What is particularly important to young professionals interviewed?
On the basis of our survey results, it is quite clear that the ideal employer should offer the young professionals an attractive basic salary, a friendly work environment, recognition and a secure job. These are the characteristics that make a company attractive to young professionals. The work-life balance is the number one priority for long-term career goals.
And when one inquires more closely, one learns that the young professionals connect with the fact that they can integrate personal interests into their schedule, that they can work flexibly, for example from the home office.
In the context of the work-life balance, however, it is also important for young professionals to be treated with respectful respect. This is sometimes forgotten! It is important to note that these preferences differ between the different occupational fields and main study areas and are very generalized.
Are there strong deviations by region or country?
Every year, in 32 countries, we interview more than 500 000 students and young professionals about their evaluation of companies, the characteristics that make them an attractive company, and their career plans. In some cases, we find very considerable differences.
In our recent study on the most attractive employers in the world, for which we interviewed students from the 12 largest economies, for example, we have found that students in Germany are above average in terms of job security.
For students in China, job security is far less important. Also, regarding their desires to future employers, there are significant differences from nation to nation. This shows that companies have to adapt their national employer branding strategies to the most diverse circumstances in the respective countries.
Are there large differences in the individual fan groups?
Yes, there is! This is exactly the reason why we have a separate set of corporate districts - young professionals with an economic background, young engineers and scientists and the young IT experts.
This is also the case with the students, because even in the case of young people, the differences between the young professionals and the young professionals are related to which companies are particularly attractive to them, as well as which characteristics make companies attractive to them and what long-term career goals they pursue.
Can you predict trends for the future from the current figures or have you already made predictions in the past?
To this I am reminded by Pericles, who said that it was not our task to predict the future, but to be well prepared for it. Of course, we can identify trends in our survey results. But trends do not have to continue. You can even turn back. Think about the financial crisis. Banks are still struggling to be seen again as attractive employers.
I am not concerned with one or the other prognosis. Instead, I see my job as helping companies recognize how they are perceived by the various target groups compared to their competitors. On this basis, companies can develop an individual employer's value proposition and differentiate themselves from the competition.
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