At some time or other, most of us have watched a TV reality dating show. Even if we’d rather not admit it, there’s something vaguely cringe-making about watching one group of singles striving to impress a group of the opposite sex, in the hope of getting a date.
Cringe-making as reality dating might be, the current employment market is little different. In this booming candidate-rich environment it's up to the applicants to show their employability-vitality in the hope an employer will invite them on an interview date.
There are many factors contributing to the shifting employment market, not least of which are demographics. According to PwC’s Millennials at Work report, by 2020 around 50% of the global workforce will comprise the millennial generation - those born between 1980 and 2000- and these future young leaders see their career as a portfolio of experiences rather than a ladder to be climbed in a single organisation.
Millennials are also less focused on pay and incentives than current CEOs - they want more intangibles from their work, like a chance to achieve and a sense of purpose. And they want to be proud of their employer and so tend to seek jobs where the company’s values match their own.
But millennials who want to be invited on that first date with a potential employer need to understand that employers have preferences too. According to the recent PwC global CEO Survey, UK bosses are in hiring mode….63% expect to grow their workforce over the coming 12 months, compared to 52% of their global counterparts. But more than four-in-five (83%) of these UK bosses are concerned about how to get hold of key skills, up sharply from 71% last year. And the skills most highly prized by UK leaders - adaptability and problem-solving, leadership and collaboration, and creativity and innovation - are also proving the hardest to recruit - millennials take note.
All of these factors are changing the shape and focus of the employment market. Millennials have different ambitions from previous generations so employers need to adopt working practices that enhance their appeal to this picky group. But millennials too, need to understand and adapt to the skills that UK employers want to attract.
If millennials and employers are to ultimately embrace each other, they need to understand that in the job-market this reality dating game has some very strict rules.
Call PwC to hear more about our experience of helping to attract and retain talent in this new order.