What em­ploy­ees want in a com­pany

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

AS com­pe­ti­tion for ta­lent in the work­place mounts, know­ing how a com­pany mea­sures against its in­dus­try peers be­comes all the more im­por­tant.

Em­ploy­ing a win­ning team is not merely about choos­ing ta­lent you want to form the ATeam that will push your strate­gies for­ward, but about whether in­di­vid­u­als pick your or­gan­i­sa­tion as their num­ber one choice of em­ploy­ment, which is likely to see them re­main with the com­pany for longer.

Today, prospec­tive em­ploy­ees have in­creased ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion about em­ploy­ers and are mak­ing “ex­tremely in­formed de­ci­sions about which or­gan­i­sa­tions they choose to work for”, says Je­nali Skuse, em­ployer brand­ing con­sul­tant at Univer­sum Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, which pub­lishes the an­nual Ideal Em­ployer Rank­ings.

“They are look­ing for an or­gan­i­sa­tion that’s aligned with them, their goals in life, their ca­reer goals, what they would like to achieve.”

This year’s sur­vey found that the top five over­all driv­ers for em­ployer at­trac­tive­ness among stu­dents are lead­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties, pro­fes­sional train­ing and devel­op­ment, eth­i­cal stan­dards, in­spir­ing lead­er­ship and lead­ers who will sup­port the em­ployee’s devel­op­ment.

Among pro­fes­sion­als, the top five over­all driv­ers for em­ployer at­trac­tive­ness were ac­cess to pro­fes­sional train­ing and devel­op­ment, lead­ers who will sup­port the em­ployee’s devel­op­ment, eth­i­cal stan­dards, lead­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties, and a cre­ative and dy­namic en­vi­ron­ment.

Wi­nani Ndlovu, re­search man­ager for Africa at Univer­sum, says while the driv­ers for both stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als are al­most sim­i­lar, stu­dents prob­a­bly have more ide­al­is­tic driv­ers in mind.

“Pro­fes­sion­als on the other hand are more re­al­is­tic be­cause they are al­ready in the work­place and know what they want. Stu­dents are look­ing at lead­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties as well as pro­fes­sional train­ing and devel­op­ment. How­ever, it is clear that this is driven by their ide­al­is­tic view,” she says.

Method­ol­ogy Re­search for the lat­est Univer­sum Ideal Em­ployer Rank­ings was con­ducted from Au­gust 2015 to Jan­uary 2016, and con­sists of the re­sponses of 46 709 stu­dents and 23 906 pro­fes­sion­als to an on­line sur­vey.

The re­search fo­cused on six main fields of study: busi­ness/com­merce; en­gi­neer­ing/tech­nol­ogy; sciences; hu­man­i­ties/lib­eral arts/ed­u­ca­tion; law; and health­care/health sciences. The num­ber of em­ploy­ers sur­veyed was 150, com­pared with 130 in the last sur­vey cy­cle. The in­crease was mainly to ac­com­mo­date more tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies.

The rea­son for this, ex­plains Ndlovu, is be­cause trends in­di­cate that the sec­tor has shown some sig­nif­i­cant growth in South Africa. “The im­pli­ca­tion for em­ploy­ers is be­cause the sec­tor is grow­ing so much, skills in the ICT sec­tor are in high de­mand. So com­pe­ti­tion for things like IT skills, soft­ware devel­op­ment, soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing, and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence is fiercer than ever be­fore,” says Skuse.

Due to a change in the method­ol­ogy used, this year’s rank­ing can­not be com­pared with pre­vi­ous years’. “We used to have one em­ployer list that we used to show across all the dif­fer­ent fields of study, but this year we in­tro­duced dif­fer­ent lists for the dif­fer­ent fields of study,” ex­plains Ndlovu. “This af­fected the rank­ings.”

Key trends One of the key trends from this year’s sur­vey are the pop­u­lar­ity of state-owned en­ter­prises (SOES) among grad­u­ates, as SOES are per­ceived to of­fer good train­ing and devel­op­ment, hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal mo­bil­ity and bet­ter job se­cu­rity, says Skuse.

For in­stance, SOES like Eskom and Transnet of­fer bur­saries to ter­tiary stu­dents. Many stu­dents know about these em­ploy­ers from an early age and un­der­stand the value propo­si­tion of these SOES. When choos­ing em­ploy­ers, they se­lect ones they know most about and are aligned to what is most im­por­tant to them, says Ndlovu.

In­ter­na­tional tech­nol­ogy firms also ranked highly, as well as lo­cal blue-chip com­pa­nies like Sabmiller and In­vestec.

Skuse says a salient trend that came out from the re­search was how im­por­tant a sense of pur­pose is for prospec­tive ta­lent. “Those or­gan­i­sa­tions that can’t clearly ar­tic­u­late a sense of pur­pose tend to lose rel­e­vance with ta­lent quite quickly.”

Ndlovu agrees: “A lot of ta­lent […] looks into what are you do­ing for the com­mu­nity, what are the en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues that you are look­ing at, what eth­i­cal is­sues are you faced with and what stand are you tak­ing there?”

Else­where on the con­ti­nent Univer­sum also con­ducted the ta­lent sur­vey in Kenya, Ghana and Nige­ria, and the find­ings high­light the need for po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers to tai­lor their of­fer­ings in a way that is rel­e­vant to the lo­cal mar­ket, says Skuse.

Where work/life bal­ance is for ex­am­ple the top ca­reer goal for stu­dents in SA, in Ghana, Kenya and Nige­ria, the top ca­reer goal is be­ing en­trepreneurial or cre­ative or in­no­va­tive, says David Rachidi, mar­ket­ing and ac­ti­va­tion man­ager Africa at Univer­sum.

Dif­fer­ent needs are also in­ter­preted dif­fer­ently. In Nige­ria, work/life bal­ance is more as­so­ci­ated with be­ing able to have childcare avail­able on work premises. In SA, it refers to be­ing able to con­trol your work hours and have flex­i­bil­ity, Ndlovu says.

In Kenya, Nige­ria and SA, pro­fes­sional train­ing and devel­op­ment is one of the top at­tributes that are most im­por­tant to stu­dents.

In Ghana, the top ca­reer goal is to have in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure, whereas in Kenya and Nige­ria it is en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion.

In Kenya, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions topped the list as key in­dus­tries to work for. In Ghana, the bank­ing in­dus­try ranked top, and in Nige­ria the oil and gas in­dus­try.

Com­pa­nies can­not just “copy and paste” their so­lu­tions to dif­fer­ent mar­kets. It is essen­tial to tai­lor their global so­lu­tions to the mar­ket needs, says Ndlovu.

— Ca­reers24.com

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