Bridging the talent gap is all down to values

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6 September 2018 | 0

Niall Kitson portraitHealth, wealth and wisdom – the three components of any life well lived. Most of us will have the benefit of at best two of the above, and a new survey by Deloitte says millennials have largely given up on the wealthy part. In fact 60% of respondents said they would not be financially better off than their parents, and almost 31% were resigned to not being as happy. Effectively, a third of Irish people are at risk of depression based on a perceived lack of opportunity. Is it so easy to chalk it down to national PTSD from the crash of the late noughties? Looking at the fallout of a subsequent brain drain and malfunctioning property market you could say the young people of Ireland are ‘figuring a lot of things out’.

One thing millennials are done with is making money for other people. Or, rather, making money for employers that see their businesses simply through the lens of profit. Less than a third of respondents agreed that business leaders were committed to improving society and only about a quarter of employers considered this a priority. As for environmental concerns, only 12% said their bosses thought it important.

That’s bad news at a time of an acute skills shortage in the jobs market. Employers that can’t compete with the salaries of the multinationals have to outdo them in culture, professional development. That 35% said it was up to organisations to update their skills versus 13% for the education system.

Millennials are also still considering the value of the gig economy (40%) or going freelance (68%) to get a better work/life balance.

All of the above speaks to a reinvention of the employer/employee relationship where the personal development and flexibility can make up the shortfall between what people think their labour is worth and what companies can afford.

So what are organisations to do? The answer, according to Deloitte, is to identify millennial values and get in line with them. This means having a strong mission statement, emphasise values such as diversity, offer continuous professional development and be ready to respond to changes in the market/technology.

Health, wealth and wisdom. Depending on your definition of ‘wealth’ things might be looking up, after all.

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