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Characteristics of a young top manager

Young career-oriented professionals are on a permanent job hunt, writes Monika Hamori, professor at IE Business School in Madrid in the Harvard Business Review. Monika Hamori came to this conclusion together with her colleagues Jie Cao and Burak Koyuncu after conducting face-to-face interviews and analyzing two large international databases created from online surveys of more than 1,200 employees.

The results showed that young high achievers – 30 years old on average, and with strong academic records, degrees from elite institutions, and international internship experience – were constantly networking and keeping their eyes open for a new job. Monika Hamori and her team found that three-quarters sent out résumés, contacted search firms, and interviewed for jobs at least once a year during their first employment. Nearly 95 per cent busied themselves with regularly updating résumés and researching information on prospective employers. On average, these young managers moved on from their first employment after 28 months. The research found that despite stating a pay increase as the main reason for changing jobs, young managers also complained about missing mentoring, coaching and training in their companies as well as a lack of support from direct and senior management.

Monika Hamori came to the conclusion that employers were understandably reluctant to make big investments in workers who might not stay long anyway. “But this creates a vicious circle: Companies won’t train workers because they might leave, and workers leave because they don`t get training. By offering promising young managers a more balanced menu of development opportunities, employers might boost their inclination to stick around,” she writes.

Some examples of what employers do to retain young employees these days:

1. Eliminate middle-management positions to give younger hires more exposure to projects
2. Give graduates a promotion within one year, assuming performance is up to par
3. Launch an 18-month rotation and mentoring programme for Gen Y workers
4. Scrap policies of an 8 a.m. workday start and promote more flexible work hours.

Harvard Business Review
Wall Street Journal

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