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News Article

Understand Generational Differences to Retain Talent

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 09:13

When it comes to talent attraction, understanding the difference among generations and their needs is crucial, a group of experts told the Mexico Talent Forum 2016 on Thursday.

“Mexico has a multigenerational workforce that is strongly millennial,” said Gabriel Aparicio, Country General Manager at Kelly Services. “Companies need to take advantage of the situation and promote cooperation and learning through multidisciplinary teams.”

Laura Obregón, President of AMECH, Guido van der Zwet, Latin America Manager at IPS and Gerardo Elbiorn, General Manager at Corporativo RH, rounded out the panel “Talent Attraction” at the Sheraton Maria Isabel hotel in Mexico City.

“One in three employees is millennial,” said Aparicio. “We find ourselves with the challenge of identifying qualities and areas with a concentration of talent and the amount of specialization among individuals.”

Millennials are also looking more for a life experience than just a secure job. “To attract them, we need to compensate salaries with benefits,” said Corporativo RH’s Elbiorn. “Money alone cannot attract talent and we have seen many cases of employees being stolen simply for a better benefit scheme.”

Highly skilled technicians are among those that companies are looking for and that presents a different dilemma. They tend to be quite selective because they know they can pick and choose. “Talented individuals know they can easily find jobs and it causes companies to constantly try to steal people with this profile from the competition,” Elbiorn said. Companies can avoid losing them by offering a proper work-life balance to employees. “We also need to analyze and take care of our public image and other elements such as sustainability and our social impact,” he added.

Research from Kelly Services showed that 45 percent of people who work identify their company as one that understands and worries about training but few have the security that companies are actually investing in it.

But, simply providing departmental training is not enough. “We find mentorship programs to work extremely well. Individuals feel more comfortable knowing they have a buddy to fall back on in case of any questions or doubt that they can learn from,” said IPS’ van der Zwet.

Elbiorn also highlighted the importance of creating loyalty within companies. “Millennials want companies that can take their professionalism to another level. Universities play a role as well because they must offer careers that offer mobility and a wide spectrum of skills.” He added that Mexico has cultural advantages in comparison to countries like the US, which tend to have a colder personality. “We have a way of making people feel more at home.”

Borders are no longer an issue in this century because individuals now have the mobility to work anywhere in the world. That creates an additional challenge for companies, which the influx of foreign firms to Mexico could help to mitigate.  “Individuals that leave the country may have not felt appreciated at home. But there are a number of international companies that are entering Mexico and creating a new work culture. It will be easier to retain talent,” said Elbiorn.

Added van der Zwet: “International exchange is a benefit for companies as it allows individuals to absorb best practices and learn from new cultures. The mix takes the talent to another level.”

International talent can also create an effective combination with their local counterparts. “It generates knowledge and development. It is not a threat as it inserts best practices into companies,” said Aparicio.

Van der Zwet also cautioned that companies should be careful about the promises they make. “Companies need to be clear about what they expect from the team without creating unrealistic expectations.”