BUSINESSES IN CHINA MUST HELP YOUNGER WORKERS MOST AFFECTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC | 中国企业必须帮助受新冠疫情影响最严重的年轻员工

Published on 2020-09-24

With younger workers amongst the worst affected by the pandemic, Hays CEO Alistair Cox says it is the duty of business leaders to act and support this generation of workers.

瀚纳仕首席执行官Alistair Cox表示,年轻员工受疫情影响最为严重,企业领导有责任采取行动为这一代员工提供支持。

As the 2021 autumn recruitment season approaches, graduates in China are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of COVID-19. Public figures from the Ministry of Education show that the number of fresh graduates in 2020 will reach 8.74 million, a record high. But according to a recent report by the Development Research Center of the State Council, China Development Research Foundation and recruitment website Zhaopin, 26.3% of the 2020 graduates are still seeking jobs as of June this year, a year-on-year increase of 4.4%. This means that many may face the challenge of "two-term superposition" where they have to continue competing for available jobs with the next wave of graduates.

But while China’s thousands of state-owned enterprises, local governments, and public institutions are expanding their hiring to accommodate the growing number of graduates, Alistair Cox, CEO of global recruiting experts Hays, stresses the importance of business leaders to act; “Whilst of course, our young people are more than capable of helping themselves out of this situation, they can’t do it alone. They need us to hear them. They need our help and support. While it’s encouraging to see many governments around the world stepping in to help protect their careers – from job creation and employment guarantee schemes, to training incentives, apprenticeship programmes and job retention bonuses – employers also have a pivotal role to play in unlocking the ‘lockdown generation’.” 

Alistair says companies should continue with their graduate and intern schemes to help the younger generation, they should support their younger workers in working remotely, and onboarding processes will need to be adapted to reflect the new era of work.

Alistair also states that employers must open their minds when hiring and move away from set pre-requirements; “It shouldn’t matter where a candidate went to university, or even if they went to university at all. What matters is that they are the best person for the job. What matters is their potential. So, widen your net to consider those who have completed apprenticeships or vocational educational training going forward – the focus shouldn’t just be on university education. 

Alistair says that when it comes to reviewing grades, organisations must remember that due to the disruption caused during the exam season, grades which appear on a jobseeker’s ’s CV might not be a fair reflection of their abilities. However, what can help build a more accurate picture of a candidate is understanding how they have used the lockdown period proactively, such as volunteering, caring for vulnerable family members, additional learning or taking on home projects. This information will help organisations gain a valuable insight into the character and potential of applicants.

Investing in the skills development of employees, regardless of their generation, is key to an organisation’s future success in the new era of work. Alistair states that the first step is to start at the beginning, and work to close the disconnect between the skills that are taught in formal education settings, and the skills that employers and industries actually need in the real world. 

Alistair advises; “It’s now absolutely essential employers work with educators to facilitate work-based learning and degree apprenticeships – albeit in a socially distanced world – and are given access to help frame the curriculum so we can be sure it is as relevant as possible for the new era of work.” 

Alistair says that it’s the obligation of leaders to facilitate the sharing of practical, honest, real world careers advice to those young people still in education, such as mentorship programmes, industry days or even our own social media networks. 

Alistair comments; “This is particularly important now for a number of reasons: education has been disrupted due to the pandemic, young people are tending to stay in education longer and, lastly and perhaps most importantly, the world of work is changing faster than ever before.”  

Alistair continues; “As leaders, we’re out there in the world, we’re on the ground, every day, so we’re uniquely placed to share our thoughts and guidance in order to ensure each student has a well-rounded view of the skills in demand and how they might fit into our world going forward.”

There is an increasing need for companies to define and articulate their purpose, their reason for existing. As company valuations and project expectations have been completely thrown out of the window by the pandemic – Alistair says now could be the ideal opportunity for Boards to do the right thing, to re-evaluate shareholder returns and devote proper investment towards their social purpose by helping the youth of today blossom tomorrow. 

 Using Hays as an example, Alistair says; “This is something we are working hard on developing at Hays. Our purpose of “creating opportunities and improving lives” is perfectly placed to help our future generations, whether that be in the form of, as I’ve said above, providing careers and workplace advice or helping them upskill or reskill. It is undeniably true that the social contract between society and business is changing; much of this movement being accelerated by the coronavirus.”

Alistair closes by saying; “This is a call to arms to all the leaders out there. The needs of your current employees are of course important right now, I’m not questioning that. But we mustn’t lose sight of our youth. They need our guidance more than ever now. They are the future and we must do what we can to ensure that future is as bright as possible.”

This content was originally published as a LinkedIn Influencer blog.

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2021年秋招季临近,而中国的毕业生在疫情之后正面临着前所未有的挑战。教育部的公开数据显示,2020年应届毕业生人数达874万,创历史新高。但根据国务院发展研究中心、中国发展研究基金会和智联招聘的最新报告,截至今年6月,仍有26.3%的2020年届毕业生在寻找工作机会,同比增长4.4%。这意味着,很多人可能面临“两届叠加”的挑战——他们不得不继续与下一届毕业生竞争现有工作岗位。

 在中国数千家国有企业、地方政府和公共机构扩大招聘规模以适应不断增长的毕业生数量的同时,全球招聘专家瀚纳仕首席执行官Alistair Cox强调,企业领导也必须采取行动:“当然,我们的年轻人有能力摆脱就业困境,但他们无法独自做到这一点。他们需要我们倾听他们的心声,需要我们的帮助和支持。从创造就业机会到出台就业保障计划,再到培训激励措施、学徒计划和岗位留任奖金,世界各地的许多政府都在帮助年轻人就业,这令我们很欣慰。与此同时,雇主在帮助年轻人就业方面也要发挥关键作用。 

Alistair表示,企业应继续推行毕业生和实习生计划,以帮助年轻一代;他们还应支持年轻员工远程办公,入职流程也需要调整,以反映新时代的工作需要。 

Alistair还指出,雇主在招聘时必须打开思路,摆脱一成不变的要求:“求职者在哪里上的大学,甚至是否上过大学并不重要。重要的是他们是这份工作的最佳人选,以及他们具有巨大的工作潜力。雇主们应广泛撒网,考虑那些接受过学徒或职业教育培训的人,而不是只看大学文凭。”

Alistair表示,在审查应聘者的学习成绩时,企业必须记住,由于疫情干扰了考试,求职者简历上的成绩可能无法客观地反映他们的能力。要想更准确地评估应聘者,企业必须了解他们如何主动利用封锁期,比如做志愿者、照顾弱势家庭成员、学习额外的知识或承担家庭责任。这些宝贵的信息将帮助组织了解应聘者的性格和潜能。

投资提高各个时代员工的技能是组织在新的工作时代取得成功的关键。Alistair认为,第一步是努力消除正规教育环境中教授的技能与雇主和行业在现实世界中实际需要的技能之间的鸿沟。

Alistair建议:“尽管当前仍需要保持社交距离,但雇主应当与教育工作者合作,促进基于工作的学习和学位学徒制,这是绝对必要的。企业还应有机会参与课程设计,确保课程尽可能与新时代的工作接轨。”

Alistair表示,企业领导有义务敦促相关的工作人员,通过师友计划、行业日,甚至自己的社交媒体网络,向那些仍在接受教育的年轻人分享实用、诚恳、真实的职业建议。

Alistai说道:“在当前,这一点尤为重要,原因有很多:教育因疫情而中断,年轻人可能要在学校待更长时间。最后,也可能是最重要的是,职场的变化比以往任何时候都要快。” 

Alistair继续说道:“作为企业领导,我们身处学校之外的世界,我们每天都在职场中。我们所处的独特位置使我们能够分享有用的职业建议并提供指导,确保学生们全面地了解市场所需的技能,以及如何适应未来的世界。”

企业越来越需要定义和阐明他们的企业目标和生存之本。Alistair说,由于疫情完全打乱了企业的估值和项目预期,现在可能是董事会做出正确决定的理想时机:重新评估股东回报,投入适当的人力和财力,帮助今天的年轻人就业并取得事业上的成功,最终为社会贡献价值。

Alistair以瀚纳仕为例说道:“这也正是瀚纳仕努力的方向。我们‘创造机会,改善生活’的宗旨非常契合‘帮助新一代员工’的需要,无论是像我上面说的提供职业和职场建议,还是帮助他们提升技能或接受再培训。不可否认的是,社会和企业之间的社会契约正在发生变化,而疫情在很大程度上加速了这一趋势。”

Alistair最后总结道:“这是向所有企业领导发出的号召。你们现有员工的需求当然很重要,我毫不怀疑这一点。但我们不能忽视年轻人。此时的他们比以往任何时候都更需要我们的指导。他们是未来,我们必须尽我们所能确保这个未来尽可能光明。”

 此内容最初作为LinkedIn Influencer博客发布。

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