The Shifting Paradigm Of Younger Workforce In Choosing Employer Of Their Choice

02/02/2017 12:13 GMT | Updated 03/02/2018 10:12 GMT

One may say that having superior and talented human resources is what it takes for a business to succeed. And it is undeniably true. Employing superior workforce is vital in delivering company's missions to bring about the best performance. Not only the highly educated, any leading firm in the market will need people who are talented, creative, and passionate about what they do.

As one of the most coveted competitive advantage, skilful individuals are the most sought by firms that thrive to become the leader in their industry. This is when the firm's recruitment process is essential as it holds the key gate for future employees to enter. This door is the initial opportunity for the firm to attract high-quality individuals.

Indonesia is a prime example. The types of strategy many companies follow through in attracting potential applicants have dramatically changed over the recent years. At present, developing a recruitment strategy can be quite challenging and tricky. The workforce in this era are not the same people who can be satisfied solely to the competitive compensation scheme that used to be very prominent years ago.

A high payroll is and will forever be the leading factor, though it is not anymore the deciding aspect. Rather, people nowadays insert additional elements in their agenda. When applying for a job, instead of focusing only on the utilitarian benefits, many are now taking into account beyond what's obvious, including firms' environmental, ethical, legal, and philanthropic values.

Why the sudden change?

The rising number of undergraduate and postgraduate degree holders in Indonesia may be one of the principal reasons to explain this change. These highly educated graduates are the new generation who are not only very competitive but are also among the well-informed groups.

Accustomed to learn and grow with values which necessitate them to be beneficial to their society these highly qualified individuals possess distinct principles and norms. Some are even quite idealists, making them only taking job offers seriously when the firm's values fit their own.

Since sharing the same mission is crucial, it is important to seek what values these new generation of workforce are looking for. Generally, young workers are more and more aspire to build their careers with a company who pays more attention to the environmental, ethical, and social issues. These individuals wish to be part of something meaningful, that is to actively participate in the social movement that bring about positive impacts to the wider societies through their work.

Although revenue growth and profit margins are substantial, the way companies achieve their business missions is also of great importance to these individuals. They hold the company accountable for accomplishing their goals within the framework of legal requirements and to follow ethical rules of the society's appropriate behaviour.

Considered to be more ethical than the previous generation, job applicants nowadays who concern with environmental issues would give a high rating to the company that is energy-efficient and nature-friendly. Promoting green campaign as part of their work culture, investing in energy-saving technology, using less paper, and replacing firm's plastic bottle to a reusable tumbler in every pantry can be seen as small, yet appealing work policies to these new generation of job seekers.

Another important element is that there is a universal perception among potential employees about the degree to which a company is held in high esteem. Firm's past conducts and future prospects to be socially responsible speak for its overall appeal to all its major constituents in comparison to other leading rivals.

We can see how powerful CSR initiatives can benefit a firm's reputation by looking at Samsung Indonesia's community outreach programs that won the company Best CSR Awards 2016 or PT Hero Supermarket Tbk's Posyandu Fair that received a platinum award in the category of Best Community Program Award in the Global CSR Summit and Awards 2016. Acquiring these renowned titles, both firms will likely be enjoying the good image and trusted reputation for years to come.

When a company contributes in improving the society's well-being while maintaining its relationship with communities, people see the firm as being not selfish and philanthropic to the surrounding society, thus fostering talented applicants to pursue employment there.

Anticipating support from the firm, future workers expect the organisation to pay attention to their values. Before actually applying, job seekers will evaluate how much their beliefs would be cared about once they are hired.

They believe that it is ill-suited to spend their time on the job that they do not love or to be dedicated to work for an employer whose work values does not adhere to the values they reflect to, despite being offered a high paycheck.

Creating a feeling of unity with the organisation they work for is essential. This is because what kind of job they do and where they work will form their social identity. Thus it is deemed to be reasonable if someone wanted to be associated with an organisation that is ethical, environmentally and socially responsible. Therefore, rather than compromising their values, people will seek a company whose working norms are in parallel to their own.

Although it can be challenging, there is no reason for companies to be pessimistic. Impossibility should fell between the cracks. What firms in Indonesia need to do is to welcome the shifting paradigm among workers in the making of the well-suited recruitment policy to the job seeker's' interests in the working world today

This piece is co-authored with Dikanaya Tarahita, a writer whose works focus on employment issues in Indonesia, among others. She holds an M.Sc in Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations from the University of Manchester in the UK.