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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Firms must do more to attract and retain top young talent

Joao Araujo

Published 25/08/2014 | 02:30

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Google dominated the results of the survey
Google dominated the results of the survey

FOR employers attracting the right talent is only part of the recipe for organisational success.

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Retaining talent is also the key, and what also struck us in Ireland was that men seem "more loyal" than women do.

Forty percent of male Irish business students would like to stay five years or more with their first employer, compared with 28pc of female business students.

For their engineering counterparts, 45pc of the men would like to stay five years or more, while only 34pc of female students would like to stay for that same period.

Women seem to want an international career more than men do.

It's the second most important attribute of employer attractiveness for female talent. Men, instead, would like to join firms where they find managers who will support their development.

From September last year to June, Universum surveyed more than 700,000 students from over 40 countries.

In Ireland, between October of last year and March, we surveyed over 4,400 students from 12 different educational institutions via online applications distributed to contacts within each institution. Social media sites like Facebook were also used.

The third-level institutes covered were broad in nature - Cork Institute of Technology; Dublin City University; Dublin Institute of Technology; Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology; Limerick Institute of Technology; National University of Ireland in Galway; National University of Ireland in Maynooth; Trinity College Dublin; University of College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick and Waterford Institute of Technology.

And amongst the findings that struck us, firstly, technology firms dominate the results. Other relevant industries in Ireland include management and strategy consulting as well as research.

On salary expectations, Ireland ranks in eighth position in our global cost of talent index, with the UK in 13th position.

Irish and Italian engineering students have, as their top career goals, to attain a work-life balance and to be secure and stable in their jobs.

But while the Irish want to be competitively or intellectually challenged in their job, their Italian counterparts aspire to have an international career - a sign that the Irish still believe that they can make it at home.

While the German and Irish economies behaved very differently during the recession, in the long-run Irish business students and German business students share the same top three career goals - work-life balance, to be secure and stable in their job and to be a leader or manager of people.

However, in the short-term, the differences are substantial. While the Germans consider a competitive base salary one of the most important characteristics a job can offer, their Irish counterparts prefer the opportunity for international travel.

French business students want to work for an organisation that has exciting products and services. The Russians and British prefer employers that offer great training and development programmes.

These students will be the life blood of the workforce of the future. So being able to attract them is key for employers.

The students we surveyed have plenty of perceptions about which are the friendliest places to work, which are the best for work-life balance, which company affords the best opportunities for international travel.

More information and transparency is key for those employers aspiring to attract top talent.

Joao Araujo is Universum UK and Ireland country manager

Irish Independent

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