With around one half of the population of India in the age group of twenty five years or below, there is little doubt that this group or GenNext as we have chosen to call them, will have a very significant impact on the business and economy in the near future. This study of over 2700 respondents across different regions from different academic streams provides a comprehensive snapshot of the expectations of GenNext, by focusing on key relevant issues. This study is in continuation to the first Future workforce expectations study done in 2008.
In this edition of the study, we wanted to see if there are changes to the expectation profiles. Surprisingly we find that the expectations have changed considerably between the two editions of the study. In this edition we also asked students about where they see themselves 5 & 10 years from now. With work values playing an important role in an employee’s retention, we have also tried to understand the future workforce’s work values.
It should be noted that the top factor considered by GenNext to evaluate companies is different for different academic streams. The expectation profile is clearly different for respondents from different regions, thereby necessitating a customized approach to ‘sourcing’ from companies.
It is also interesting to note that although a majority of students prefer an online mode of assessments for selection, they have also shown considerable interest in the offline mode.
The internet has been identified as a major source of information by over 85% (up from 75% in the last study) of the respondents thereby emphasizing the need for companies to ramp up and include online assessments and information as a key component of their selection process.
This study also reinforces that while there are various factors related to the company and the job that are important to GenNext, there is a clear desire to receive formal training from companies, in order to supplement the academic knowledge and accomplishments.
It is also interesting to note that the preference of industry segment seems to have changed completely from the last time around. The telecom sector which was the first choice last time across all student groups has been replaced by specific industry segments for each of the 4 categories. Engineering students have shown a strong preference for ‘Manufacturing’ (64%), Non-engineering non-management students seem to prefer ‘IT’ (22.4%) as the first choice. ‘Consulting’ (23%) is the preferred choice of students from premier management institutes while ‘Financial Services’ (26.2%) has been identified as the top choice by non-premier management students.
In this year’s study ‘Job related’ aspects seem to hold more weightage than company image and management profile which were key factors in the choice process in the last edition of the study. However company related aspects have been short listed in the top 5 by all respondent groups.
‘Interviews’ have been replaced by ‘web based information sources’ as the preferred source of obtaining information across the board. This means that companies need to make sure that their websites are updated continuously and are equipped with all relevant information about the company and the job.
Compensation expectations have gone up tremendously from the last edition of the survey. This could be because companies have slowly wriggled out the recessionary mode are in a hiring spree again.
In terms of location, the National Capital region (NCR) seems to have replaced Bangalore as the most preferred work location. Bangalore emerges as the second most preferred location followed by a surprise entrant this year-Pune.
Our study findings establish very clearly that "one- size- fits- all" strategies are not likely to work and organisations need to address GenNext sourcing through different strategies due to the continuously changing expectation profiles, as also the regional cultural differences.