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Confidence is Key for the Upcoming Generation of Business Leaders

Central Europe’s future business leaders already rate their own competencies very highly. This is one finding of the Deloitte “First Steps into the Labour Market” 2015 report, which describes the views on work, life and education of nearly 2,500 of the best and brightest students and recent graduates from some of the CE region’s leading universities.

The results of study on graduates conducted in the Central European region allowed to identify four basic work-related personalities: the ambitious “Fast Trackers”, the serious-minded “Eager Beavers”, the balanced “All Rounders” and the less work-motivated “By-Standers”. Most of the interviewed students in Lithuania belong to the serious-minded “Eager Beaver” type, characterized by professional integrity, high work ethic and desire to work in a team; however, 19% of respondents in Lithuania belongs to the “By-Standers” type, i.e. persons, intending to work only in those areas where they can apply their already acquired competencies, as well as willing to devote more time to non-business activities and rarely feeling good after a hard day at work. All four types of respondents have advantages and disadvantages, therefore it would be useful for organizations to employ a broad range of types of professionals.

Preparation for career and job search processes

Deloitte survey showed that Lithuanian students were, however, pessimistic about the preparation for professional activities. Despite the fact that in recent years there was a number of training programs implemented in Lithuania in order to provide the youth with greater knowledge and skills regarding the integration into the labour market, even 60% of graduates claimed that they did not feel fully prepared to start their professional activities, while 33% of respondents recognized that they were not prepared for the job search process.

Another issue that Deloitte identified in the 2013 survey which is confirmed again today is a shortfall in student satisfaction levels when it comes to assessing their preparation at university for professional life. In 2015, just 16% of respondents felt that university prepared them well for their professional duties or for the job-hunting process.

First Steps Into Labour Market 2015

Outstanding self-belief

Based on the results of this survey, it is clear that the majority of young respondents describe themselves as self-confident and qualified. Even 73% of surveyed students in Lithuania consider themselves business leaders of the upcoming generation, i.e. they believe that their friends and/or colleagues would describe them as charismatic, proactive and communicative personalities. When assessing their competences, Lithuanians feel strong in communicability, decision-making, mastering new things and professional task planning. The high confidence index among Lithuanian students is not surprising, since 75% of respondents in the entire Central Europe highly assessed their own competences, as well as confidence in their own abilities. The interviewed students believe that hard work can help to achieve much more in comparison with other persons, who put less effort.

“It is encouraging that Lithuanian students’ ambitions and willingness to establish new businesses are not fading away. Both in 2013 and in 2015, entrepreneurial ambitions of Lithuania’s young talents were the highest in the Central European region (18% and 15,9% respectively). In recent years, a consequent increase in start-up activities confirms that graduates in Lithuania can be characterized by entrepreneurship, initiative and leadership traits. It is therefore expected that Lithuanian leaders of future generations will continue to set up their own businesses, will strive to create new jobs and thus will contribute to the country’s growth and development,” says Saulius Bakas, the Managing Partner at Deloitte Lithuania. 

How to choose the best job offer?

When choosing a job, an opportunity to acquire new skills and develop existing ones remains a priority for the graduates in Lithuania and the Central European region. An attractive salary, followed by a good working atmosphere and relationships, as well as a satisfactory work-life balance are also among the most important factors that help to make a decision on a specific job offer. In 2013, students identified similar factors regarding a job selection process, additionally emphasizing the opportunity to work with interesting projects.

According to Gavin Flook, Deloitte’s talent leader for Central Europe, “Competition for the best young people, whether managers or subject-matter experts, is intense. But these findings confirm those from our last First Steps survey in 2013, which showed that intangible factors that do not cost much to implement are just as important as a high salary when it comes to choosing a job. This suggests that companies can compete for talent using other means than financial reward alone.”

Graduates’ mobility and emigration

Based on the survey results, graduates in Lithuania (53,9%) particularly stand out from other young talents in the Central European region, because they are least likely to emigrate due to professional reasons – most of the respondents would start or continue their career in Lithuania, if they were offered an attractive job offer. Meanwhile, three quarters of respondents in the Central European region are willing to go abroad for professional purposes (although across the entire region, respondents’ desire to emigrate is also decreasing compared with the previous survey results (70% in 2013)).

It is evident that within a few years, Lithuanian students’ position on emigration issues has actually changed. Based on the survey results in 2013, the majority of Lithuanian students (79%) were prepared to emigrate because of interesting job offer. It is likely that this change was caused due to the fact that in recent years students are seeing an increasing number of opportunities to develop themselves in Lithuania, which shows some improving Lithuania’s prospects.

Attitudes to work and rewards

Significantly the most important factor that interviewed students from the Central Europe region’s look for when identifying the right job is the opportunity to acquire and develop new skills, as well as the system of additional motivational measures (such as promotion, increase in salary, bonuses etc.). Compared with the previous survey, there are no obvious changes, the main motivators remain the same.

Remuneration expectations of all the respondents in the Central European region were higher (often ‒ and significantly higher) than the average annual earnings. Most of the students interviewed in Lithuania have salary expectations that range from EUR 751 to EUR 1000, while one fifth would agree to work for a wage lower than EUR 500 a month. Compared with the previous results, women’s financial expectations is obviously growing: this year, salary expectations of 15% surveyed Lithuanian graduates are between EUR 1750 and EUR 2000.

“I have no doubt that most of these promising young people will eventually earn more than the average salary, but it is likely that they will have to accept lower wages at the beginning of their careers,” says Mr Bakas. 

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