Research Seminar

Seminar Coordinators: Prof. Wenxi JIANG and Prof. Yizhou XIAO

How Companies Attract and Retain Millennials

In an interview with Hong Kong Echo magazine, Stephanie Villemagne commented on how companies attract and retain young talent, and said that "millennials aren't just looking for the name anymore; they're looking at the life associated with an organization."...

Universities are inherently exposed to the expectations of the next generation. There is a huge war for talent in Hong Kong and companies haven't yet found the key to attracting and retaining young talent.

Stephanie Villemagne, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Director of MBA Programs at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School was interviewed by Hong Kong Echo, The French Chamber's English-language quarterly magazine. She was quoted in the cover story "The Millennial's Choice" published in the magazine's Autumn/2017 issue with her view on how companies could win the war for young talents.

"I think local companies don't see it as a problem. High turnover is just the way it is for them," says Villemagne. She believes international companies see it as a problem but are unsure how to deal with it.

"A lot of companies think retention is all about salary. Actually it rarely is. You need a more comprehensive approach: flextime, homeworking, free food, adequate holiday leave, etc. and of course salary as well, but it's the whole package."

In fact, the next generation want meaning and impact from the company they are working at. "Graduates aren't just looking for the name anymore; they're looking at the life associated with an organization. It could be work-life balance but also how the company performs on CSR. The company's image is also theirs," adds Villemagne. The market is such that those who are less sure about their situation "may jump to another job for as little as HK$500 more per month."

The next generation want their voice heard in the company. "People finishing their studies often have big ideas about their contribution and managers may be thinking: Hang on, you're in your twenties, what would you know? It's not that everyone wants to be a CEO, it's just that they want to contribute more and quicker," says Villemagne.

It can often be difficult for universities to bridge the gap between the high expectations of business and those of students. Change is needed. "Business schools are particularly innovative places, but they nonetheless have plenty of innovative people to teach the next generation,"" admits Villemagne.

Companies want people who can hit the ground running. It's a difficult expectation for new graduates who may have limited experience. For this reason, "business schools are going back to 'learning by doing'. Working on your own product and pitching to actual investors is an experience that goes beyond pure classwork," says Villemagne... Read More (Page 3-4)

You can click here to download an electronic copy of the Hong Kong Echo magazine.


Media: Hong Kong Echo, Vol. 86

Section: Cover Story

Date published: October, 2017

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