Career advancement a top priority for employees of all generations
Hong Kong, 24 October 2012 – Despite the common perception that Generation Y, also known as Millennials, are the most demanding employees, Generation X employees are in fact, the hardest to recruit and retain within the finance and accounting sector in Hong Kong, according to research from specialist finance and accounting recruitment firm, Robert Half.
A survey of 150 Hong Kong-based Chief Financial Officers and Finance Directors revealed that nearly half of the respondents are finding Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1978, the most challenging to recruit (48%) and retain (49%). This is 10 per cent higher than Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 1999. The Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are less of a challenge for employers.
Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half Hong Kong, said, “The most forward-thinking employers clearly understand their future lies in their ability to retain the best people and leverage the unique contributions of a multi-generational workforce. Companies that actively develop attractive employee programmes and identify clear career paths for their top performers will more likely outperform their peers in today’s competitive environment.”
The research also revealed that what motivates people to stay with a company is not that different across the generations – they all place great importance on career advancement.
The survey respondents identified employees’ expectation for career advancement as the biggest challenge when retaining staff from all generations in Hong Kong. Other challenges include expectations of remuneration and work-life balance with Generation X and Generation Y placing more emphasis on remuneration, while Baby Boomers focused more on work-life balance.
“To retain the best people, employers must be able to support their staff’s professional goals and create opportunities for career advancement and training. Where possible, it is also important to offer remuneration that meets or exceeds the industry average. If there is a lack of budget to raise salaries, employers can still differentiate themselves by providing special perks or focusing on elements that increase the appeal of their workplace. Periodically holding two-way discussions with employees can help companies identify the most valued incentives so they can continue to refine their offerings,” concluded Ms. Anand.