They belong to the so-called Z and Millennial generations. Concepts such as mobility, flexibility, professional development and sustainability are part of their usual vocabulary. The youngest are entering a labour market in a process of change to adapt to their demands.

Where is the company located? Are there flexible work options? Is there internal and international mobility? What kind of projects am I going to work on? These are some of the first questions asked by young people during the interview process, questions that have almost nothing to do with the working stability that the older generations looked for when finding a job.

The dream of labor stability has gone to a better place. Today, the idea of developing a long-term professional career in one company has been defeated by the idea of flexibility and the short-medium term. Companies are aware of this, so they work to adapt their own idiosyncrasies to the demands of new employees, while at the same time looking for the key to make different generations coexist in the same work context.

Banco Santander is deeply immersed in this adaptation process. According to Jorge Narváez, Talent Acquisition Manager of the Culture, Compromise and Employee Experience Area, enterprises are finding themselves in a moment of change where “they not only must be adapted to a social and digital transformation, but, also, they must be capable of attracting new generations and thus new ways of working, where motivation, interest in development and on the job learning prevail”.

How do young people choose employment?

Successful companies need well-trained and committed teams. For this reason, attraction, management and retention of talent are key strategies for Banco Santander, and are promoted by its Human Resources Division.

Jorge Narváez states that young employees “are highly qualified with undergraduate and graduate degrees and knowledge of different languages, which makes them a really competent generation, despite having practically no work experience”.

“However, they yearn to have a role in the process of change organizations are experiencing”. He states that currently, young people don’t just pursue their studies “by default”. Rather, they “aim to obtain maximum returns from their studies with respect to the occupations they want to pursue”.

Work environment is one of the factors that is most valued by the new generations, as they “look for a favorable work environment where they can develop themselves within a team with a leader who knows how to motivate and inspire the group, who knows how to connect with them in a transparent and close way, and who has the capability to generate a vision that they know how to transmit to others”, Jorge Narváez said.

Flexibility is another point to take into account for Millennials and Generation Z. They prioritize the possibility of coordinating the development of their careers with a personal life project, so they “positively value that the quality of their work won’t be measured on the basis of their timetables, but on their productivity. They aspire to a job that makes them feel passionate, but at the same time, that lets them enjoy their free time”.

A strong commitment to society is one of the main features of the new generations and thus one of the factors most valued by the young when they look for a job and accept it. In fact, according to the Millennial Poll 2018 administered by Deloitte, only 45% of Millennials believe that companies behave ethically. As a consequence, Corporate Social Responsibility policies must be highlighted among the strategic plans of the enterprises, such as in the case of Banco Santander.

And companies: What are they looking for?

At first glance they may seem very different from the older generations, but motivation, integrity, positivity, being brilliant or focusing on a goal, continue to define the type of profiles that companies are looking for in the younger generations.

However, trends indicate that the most demanded profiles are “those people who feel comfortable in a changing and ambiguous environment, due to the digital transformation being experienced in all parts of society, and thus, within companies”, Jorge Narváez states.

For the Talent Acquisition Manager of the Corporate Center of Banco Santander, there are four skills common to all job positions that are required in this new labor context:

  • Ability to adapt, as change is constant and increasingly faster, it requires people capable of adapting to new ways of work, new tools, new teams and even new departments.
  • Analytical capability, as more and more data is gathered, there is more demand for people capable of making intelligent data-based decisions.
  • Collaboration and teamwork to promote the agile development of projects. There is an increasing number of transversal projects which require an effective collaboration between professionals from different areas and departments.
  • Capability of innovation/creativity, with the objective of standing out from the competition in the market. Having a creative mind is an essential tool to understand that the solutions of yesterday won’t resolve the problems of tomorrow.

Santander Talent Tour

To adapt to the changes society demands, in addition to working with concepts such as Employer Branding or Great Place to Work, Banco Santander has launched several initiatives such as Santander Talent Tour, which aims to attract STEM talent specialized in Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

This program brings the most innovative projects of the organization, as well as real employment opportunities, to students at the main Spanish universities and business schools, with the goal that Banco Santander be identified as an attractive place to work.

We want to be where our future employees are and attract “diverse” talent, because the more our company resembles the composition of society, the more capable we will be of identifying and satisfying the needs of our customers and employees”, Narváez concludes.

This is the objective of Banco Santander, and also of those who are currently trying to get a foot in the door of the labor market. The more professionals stay in tune with the idiosyncrasies of society, the greater the possibility of companies adapting to new ways of working, new trends, and digital transformation, as well as contributing to the progress of young people and society as a whole.