Generation Y is changing job market

A glossary of words as well as an exercise related to this article are also published online.

Vacancies are estimated at more than 100,000. Vacancies are estimated at more than 100,000. (Source: SME)

A glossary of words as well as an exercise related to this article are also published online.

UNLIKE previous generations, people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s are refusing overtime and work during weekends and national holidays, personnel managers report. They are ambitious, prefer working in teams, share their successes and care about their work-life balance more than their parents or grandparents did. The so-called Generation Y, or Millennials, is visibly changing the labour market, personnel managers and companies say.

“People who belong to Generation Y have a significantly different view of work than their predecessors did,” Luboš Sirota, head of the McROY Group recruitment agency, told The Slovak Spectator. “They do not live to work, but rather work to live (well).”

This view then affects the salary and working condition requirements of the Millennials. Regarding salaries, they often ask for one which is higher than the average wage in the given sector, Sirota said. He added they usually cannot get it since they often lack necessary experience.

When it comes to working conditions, Generation Y prefers creativity, flexibility and the home office; however, they refuse overtime, Sirota explained.

Moreover, people from Generation Y (and also Z) try to “achieve the higher positions in the shortest possible time”, said Thibault Lefebvre, CEO of Grafton Recruitment Europe, adding they need difficult work and are actively searching for new possibilities to improve their skills. Generation Y also expects good bosses.

“They demand higher tolerance for mistakes, as they are convinced that learning from mistakes is natural,” Sirota explained.

Millennials are also interested in their working environment and the company strategy. They try to understand it and contribute to it, Lefebvre explained. They are motivated by difficult tasks, and repetitive work can annoy them. This generation also tries to communicate and obtain feedback from their peers and managers. Another typical feature is that they prefer working in teams, the team of personnel managers at Grafton told The Slovak Spectator.

Furthermore, Generations Y and Z have also been affected and formed by the technological revolution of the last 30 years, Lefebvre added.

“Generally it can be said that Generations Y and Z are a big challenge for directors, leaders, HR and teachers in every working field,” Lefebvre told The Slovak Spectator.

Higher fluctuation

The experiences of personnel managers and companies show that Generation Y is not as loyal to only one company as their predecessors were. The surveys suggest that they are more willing to change jobs about once very three years, the Sme daily reported.

They also say that young people often do not know what they want to do.

“Since they do not have a clear idea about their career, they want to experience and try as much as possible, and are motivated by drawing on various working experiences,” Branislav Jovankovič from McROY Group told Sme.

Though McROY Group confirmed that the average time spent at one workplace is three years, it added that Millennials spend even less time working in call and service centres or tourism.
“Their fluctuation is about seven times higher than that of older employees,” Slovnaft oil refinery spokesperson Anton Molnár told Sme.

The companies also confirm that Generation Y is not interested in working overtime.
“The young people want the quickest career rise,” Imrich Sloboda, HR department head at state-run railway freight carrier Cargo, told Sme. “They, however, are not very willing to do something for it.”

Work-life balance

Generation Y also values personal development and a work-life balance over money and status. They, however, still remain ambitious and believe in their own ability to steer their career, suggests an international survey carried out by INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute (EMI), the HEAD Foundation and Universum on 16,000 respondents in 42 countries. It was undertaken to better understand the many stereotypes of Millennials in the workplace and to gain additional insights about them, the official press release reads.

The survey showed that 73 percent of respondents chose work-life balance over a higher salary and 82 percent value work-life balance over their position in a company. Unlike generations before them, 42 percent agree or strongly agree they would rather have no job than one they hate.

“Millennials will constitute the majority of the workforce in just five to six years from now,” said Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum, as quoted in the press release. “From an employer branding perspective, companies that cater to the needs of Millennials will lead in attracting, recruiting and retaining them.”

Companies active in Slovakia also confirm that Generation Y cares about their work-life balance. One way to achieve it is the home office, Sme wrote.

“Working from home is an interesting benefit for them, especially because of the savings in commuting costs and greater flexibility and freedom,” Ľudmila Radosová, head of the HR department at the Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel gas utility, told Sme.

Flexible working hours is still in its beginnings in Slovakia, according to Grafton’s team. People from Generation Y and Z, however, require some kind of flexibility in the time and place of their work. This also depends on the trust of the employer or manager in the members of his or her team, the Grafton’s team said.

According to them, the combination of a well-established system of performance measurement and accessibility of all necessary technologies may allow for the implementation of practices like working from a home office, job sharing, changing careers and various forms of shortened working hours.

“The sooner all employers adapt to this trend, the better,” they said.

Employment contracts

WORKING relations must always be based on a written employment contract with at least two signed copies – one for the employer and one for the employee.

In the contract, the employee commits himself or herself to performing the tasks defined by the employer and the employer commits to paying wages for the performed work.

The contract must contain at least the following conditions and provisions: job description, location of the work, the starting day, the amount of the salary and the date it is paid, the working hours, the number of days off and the notice period for termination of the contract.
Types of employment contracts

Slovak law allows employers and employees to agree upon one of two basic types of job contract:

Fixed-term employment contract
Fixed-term employment is limited to up to two years. The fixed-term contract can be prolonged or renewed, but only twice within two years.

Employment contract for unlimited time
This contract does not state a fixed period for the contract’s validity.

In addition to these two basic forms of employment contracts, there are other agreements which can serve as the basis for employment relations – an agreement on performing certain tasks; an agreement on working activity; and an agreement on seasonal work for students.

An agreement on performing certain tasks can be signed between an employer and a natural person, provided the performance of the tasks stated in the contract does not exceed 350 hours in a year.

An agreement on working activity can serve as a basis for performing work not exceeding 10 hours per week.

An agreement on seasonal work for students can be signed between employers and a natural person who is a student. This contract can be used for performing tasks that do not require, on average, more than half of the standard weekly working hours and the agreement must be accompanied by proof that the employee is a student.

These three types of agreement must be in a written form and be signed in order to become valid.
Source: Labour Code

This article is published as part of Spectator College, a programme created by The Slovak Spectator with the support of Petit Academy Foundation and Orange Foundation.

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