Deloitte’s Survey Shatters Myths Relating to the Views of “Generation Y”

Bratislava, 10 April 2013 — The majority of students in Slovakia seek opportunities to gain professional experience during the study and almost 60% seek employment along with study – from part-time internships to full-time jobs. The main attributes considered by today’s generation of students when choosing a job include a pleasant working environment, development opportunities and attractive financial remuneration. These are some of the key findings of Deloitte’s third “First Steps into the Labour Market” report, which for the first time includes input from over 4,000 students across 11 different countries in Central Europe. The survey was carried out among students and recent graduates mostly from business faculties in major cities.

Despite common beliefs to the contrary, members of the so-called ‘Generation Y’ (those born in the late 1980s and early 1990s) are not a homogenous group sharing similar attitudes to work and work-life balance. Students from Poland and Hungary, for example, differ considerably in their attitudes to work, career plans, expectations and ambitions. What’s more, those from the Baltic States (Lithuania and Latvia in particular) are more optimistic than those from the other nine countries, while those from the Balkans are the least positive. Slovak students have higher salary expectations (together with Czech and Slovenian students), but work is one of priority values in their lives.

Values and Attributes Important in Selecting a Job 
The survey found that many of the attributes of an employer that are most effective in attracting and retaining the region’s leading graduate talent are not difficult or expensive to implement. More than 60% of Slovak students rank opportunities to develop and gain new skills as one of the most important priorities in selecting a job. Of the same importance is the overall atmosphere at work, which should be friendly; the amount of salary ranked third.

 “Opportunities for personal development and learning are the most important criteria in selecting a job, while appreciation and recognition for the quality of work done are the most powerful means of retaining the best people,” said Marián Hudák, Partner in Charge of the Slovak Deloitte office. “These tend to be attributes of good employers anyway, and are actually more effective than offering high salaries,” he adds.

A high proportion of students and recent graduates from leading universities across Central Europe tend to rate their own abilities highly. In a closely-related issue, their financial expectations for a first job can also exceed what the region’s employers are prepared to pay their first-time employees, often significantly exceeding their country’s national average salary. The average net salary specified by Slovak respondents is third-highest in the region (EUR 767) after Slovenia (EUR 1 007) and the Czech Republic (EUR 880). Only Albania and Estonia have lower salary expectations than the average salary. Students have other priorities in selecting internships, with a noticeable difference in the expected salary of EUR 473, amounting approximately to 60% of the required salary in the first job, as well as in the effort to gain first professional experience. The majority of students do not have a clear idea of their work career, but the majority of them want to continue working in their field of study.

Student mobility 
Today’s generation of students is active in terms of mobility: The majority of students and recent graduates would be willing to move, either within their home country or abroad, to take an attractive job. Slovak students are no exception, with almost three quarters of respondents confirming the trend.

 “The readiness of young people to relocate may help international corporations fill the talent gap, and it will also allow graduates to gain valuable experience from abroad, which is highly valued by students according to the study,” adds Marián Hudák.

Experience During Study 
“Gaining work experience during study is a matter of course for the majority of respondents in the region. This fact is confirmed by almost 70% of respondents in Slovakia. The majority of students engaged in seasonal jobs and temporary jobs or got a job or an internship in their field of study or outside it,” said Monika Kováčová, Director of the HR Department at Deloitte Slovakia. The most hard-working nation is Poland, where 9 out of 10 students have work experience.

The majority of students in the region seek a job or an internship on the Internet – mainly on work portals (almost 70% of students), followed by employers’ websites (60 %). Some students are recommended work by their friends or family or seek jobs at job fairs.

The Length of Stay in the First Job 
Graduates in Slovakia tend to stay longer in their first job compared to the regional average, but almost a half of the respondents were unable to estimate the length of work in their first job. Slovak graduates plan to work for approximately three years for their first employer, which is similar to other countries in the region.  Reasons to leave a job include insufficient appreciation and recognition of work done, insufficient personal development opportunities and bad work relationships.  The latter are Slovak respondents’ most likely reason for finding a new job.

Evaluation of Universities 
The students and recent graduates we surveyed also reported that they felt universities could and should provide better preparation for the world of work and the process of finding a job. Maybe better preparation of this sort would ensure that recent graduates deliver better value for their employers from day one. Improvement in this area may, in fact, have a key role to play in addressing high unemployment among young people, including graduates, which is one of the most significant issues affecting the Central European region and the EU as a whole.

Visit to download a copy of the “First Steps into the Labour Market” report.


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© 2013 Deloitte Slovakia


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