For millennials, the goal should be to stay employable. Therefore, it is essential that they invest to develop their skills, experience, and the necessary expertise to scale up in their career, regardless of their employer. In today’s times, tenure does not determine a successful career. And, such a pattern allows for people to have greater choice and flexibility in their career. As employers adapt to a workforce trend of such nature, salaries and opportunities are bound to be progressively dictated by skills, not tenure. Employees with the right skill set, find themselves in a better bargaining position today; they are able to advance more quickly and command higher salaries. While those lacking in-demand skills struggle to find the right job, and are also at a greater risk of being laid off. Facilitating this group to upskill is the defining labour challenge of our time, and, requires the combined efforts of educators, policymakers, and, most of all employers.
We are therefore dutybound to prepare young people for the jobs of the future by ensuring that they are equipped with the right type of skills to successfully navigate an ever-changing, technology‑rich work environment, and, provide every worker with the opportunity to continuously maintain their skills, up-skill and/or re-skill throughout their working lives. In the contemporary world of work, we are all looking to grab opportunities that are in sync with our skills and capabilities. Similarly, employers need workforces that make optimum use of their skills and knowledge.
Skilling and employability
From the employers’ point of view, there has been a considerable change in the job market. It has become less common for people to study at a university, enter the workplace, and, stay in a job for life – much less stick on to a single career for life! The job market is becoming increasingly dynamic, and, what is vital in this new market is not academic knowledge, but soft skills and experience that has been gained all along. Talent mismatch is a crucial paradox of our age. While over 200 million people stand unemployed globally, 40% of employers claim that they are unable to find individuals with the right skills – hard or technical skills and soft or people skills- for their businesses. Therefore, it is high time to develop an action plan to reduce the gap between the knowledge generated in the education system and the skills demanded by employers. Also, continued intervention is essential during the employment life cycle, targeting consistent skill development and utility.
From online courses to mentoring schemes, there are multiple ways to add value to a student’s degree by partaking in experience-based learning. The direct experience so gained will ensure that he or she remains fully equipped to enter the vocation of his/her choice after graduation. With many countries reporting high rates of graduate unemployment, there is increased pressure on institutes providing higher education to aid students prepare themselves for a challenging job market. Universities are responding to this challenge in various ways – internships, externships, experiential learning, additional courses, work placements, mentoring and shadowing schemes – and are presently championing the numerous benefits of experiential learning.
The Adecco group recognizes such a requirement, and has, therefore, designed unique initiatives under its Way to Work Programme. Such schemes give students a chance to benefit from the advice and guidance of an expert working in their sector of interest.
Way to Work Programme
The Adecco ‘Way to Work Programme’ helps in managing and bridging the skill gap by providing appropriate training and guidance. It is a global initiative from Adecco to empower youth with the skills and necessary experience to shape the world of the future. The initiative aims to help young talented minds define their career objectives, find the right job with a quality work experience which will kick-start their career.
The main focus of Adecco Way to Work programme is to help youngsters create optimism, encourage them, and build curiosity about the functioning of the labour market. The Adecco Group is committed to tackling these challenges through programmes such as ‘CEO for One Month’ and ‘Adecco Way to Work,’ which have provided more than 20,000 young people with vocational training since 2015 – including over 140 ‘CEOs for One Month’. The ultimate goal is to impact their lives by preparing them for future employment, and, to empower them with the necessary tools to successfully navigate the world of work.
Adecco Way to Work consists of four important programmes. These are:
- Adecco Experience Work Day
- CEO for one Month
- Internship Opportunities
- Career Centre
Adecco Experience Work Day
The global ‘Experience Work Day,’ followed the success of The Adecco Group Street Day which was launched in 2012. The objective of ‘Experience Work Day’ is to provide assistance to the youth in upskilling and developing their capabilities. This initiative has supported more than 3+ million people around the world in gaining a better start in the world of work. This year, The Adecco Group’s global initiative involved more than 4500+ Adecco Group experts across 700 branches in 46 countries, all giving their time to helping young people gain experience and improve their job prospects. The initiative in 2018 alone included 10,000+ students globally.
The Adecco Group India organised its second edition of ‘Experience Work Day’ on April 24, 2018, in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi. In India, and over 500 Adecco employees were actively involved in the programme, which gave around 500 students an opportunity to visit an Adecco office in Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi and interact with teams across functions like Human Resources (HR), Finance, Marketing and Communication, IT, Legal and Compliance. Through such an experience, the participants learnt more about the career paths and sectors they were interested in. They also gained insights into what employers look for and the ways of successful navigation of a fast-moving labour market.
The participating millennials included young individuals and fresh graduates from various management schools. Adecco’s team provided them with guidance on career, job hunting, applications, and interviews, as well as sessions on CV writing, social media identity assessment and coaching to master professional interviews. In addition, the team conducted a workshop session on ‘Digital presence for youngsters to start their career in the corporate world.’ This year, The Adecco Group India focused on upscaling and mentoring talent for the job market with a focus on entry-level talent.
Priyanshu Singh, Country Manager & MD, The Adecco Group India
“For many young people, identifying the right professional path is their first crucial career-oriented challenge. Given that the formal education system doesn’t expose the students to an official work environment, by way of initiatives like ‘Experience Work Day’ we try our bit to help and encourage the youth, or any other interested millennials, to visit us and learn more about us and about what we do to help people find jobs they love. Or just observe a large multi-national company from the inside.”
The Adecco Group Global: CEO for one Month
The CEO for One Month initiative was launched in Norway in 2011. In 2014, it became an international Adecco Group initiative, including one Global ‘CEO for One Month’ position that involves working with the Group CEO. The unique programme, now in its fifth year, provides opportunities for candidates to step into the shoes of business leaders in 47 countries within the Adecco Group’s global network. In 2018, the number of applications was up 72 percent from 2017, with over 200,000 young professionals competing for the opportunity globally. As is the practice, applications for this initiative were made available on the Adecco website. The applications thus received went through a selection process as per the local market conditions. The ‘CEO for One Month’ for each of the participating countries was announced after the selection panel in the respective country submitted its report. During the months of June - July, the Adecco Country CEOs for One Month shall work alongside the Adecco country management, and, during this period, they will continue to be assessed in preparation for the next stage.
In the next stage, the top 10 Country CEOs for One Month will be invited to join an exciting boot camp in a major city. During the boot camp which takes place in September, the 10 finalists will be assessed through various individual and team challenges. Of these 10 candidates, one will be selected to become the Adecco Group Global CEO for One Month.
The successful candidate will spend one month working under the direct supervision of the CEO of the Adecco Group and get a taste of running a Fortune 500 multinational company with 33,000 employees with € 23 billion in revenue. The global internship also includes a salary of € 15,000 to supplement the candidate’s education and better his/her career prospects. Many of the finalists go on to careers within the Adecco Group. Last year’s global ‘CEO for One Month’ was Ed Broadhead – now the Adecco Group’s Head of Data Analytics at its Zurich headquarters. Ernesto Lamaina, a former national ‘CEO for One Month’ in Italy, has risen to CEO of Adia, the Adecco Group’s recruitment-on-demand digital brand. Closer home, CEO for one month 2016, Ms. Bani Sodhi currently works as a Manager for HR & CSR Projects at the Adecco Group India headquarters in Bangalore.
The Adecco Group India: CEO for a month
In India, this programme officially came to life in 2016. While there were 6500+ applicants last year, this year the application process witnessed a 3 x growth in interest from over 19,500 applicants. It also observed a 2 x growth in the total number of participating colleges from 22 in 2017 to 45 colleges in 2018.
Would-be employers often cite the lack of required skills and the shortcomings of traditional education as reasons for their inability to hire and absorb the large number of young graduates that India produces each year. These are exactly the kind of challenges that the Adecco Group hopes to tackle through initiatives like the CEO for One Month internship. This internship will provide young individuals with vital, real-world experiences that will give them an edge as they enter a very competitive labour market. This year, Anubhav Das, a student of BITS Pilani was chosen as the CEO for one Month. He was selected from amongst the six finalists who had attended a two-day boot camp at the Adecco Office in Bangalore during the last phase of the selection process in May. The boot camp included team building exercises, presentations, assignments and personal interviews that assessed the capabilities of the finalists.
The Boot Camp experience
The six shortlisted finalists for the India CEO for one month programme went through a challenging two-day boot camp. They had to participate in various exercises and were allotted certain topics to prepare detailed presentations. At this stage, the six finalists were personally interviewed by the CEO, HR director and CFO of Adecco Group India. Candidates were questioned on why they were keen on joining this internship, about the changes they aspired to introduce if they were chosen, their biggest failures and biggest successes.
Anubhav Das, CEO for one month 2018
“There were 8-9 selection rounds that filtered down the applicants to the final six and each round was more challenging than the last one. When I was chosen to be a part of the 6 finalists who attended the boot-camp in the Bangalore office, I was not prepared for how exhausting and exhilarating this experience would be. On day 1, the boot-camp included creating a project based on what we could procure from our surroundings. This involved a fun treasure hunt that turned out to be a great team building activity. On day 2, we had one on one time with the senior management. During this time, I had to present my project from the previous day, make a presentation on a topic that we had been assigned earlier and complete my personal interview. The experience was an eye‑opener. As prepared as I thought I was, the astute analysis of my presentation by the senior management meant that I received feedback and comments from them that added a lot of value to my project and presentation. When I stepped out, what struck me is that there is so much to learn and I hope to spend a lot more time here.”
During his internship, Anubhav had the opportunity to spend a month under the mentorship of Priyanshu Singh, Country Manager & MD and fellow members of the executive team. He had the chance to be a part of operation reviews, meetings with clients, discussions with management executives, and gain a bird’s eye view of understanding the intricacies of managing a complex multinational organisation. The position also included a salary of € 2000 (INR 1, 61, 335/-) awarded to support Anubhav’s education and development.
Most people eventually find themselves in the unenviable position of trying to look for an entry-level job which demands a minimum experience of two years. How can you gain such experience if no one will give you a chance? Well, there is an easy solution to this problem – get an internship. Many students shrug off the idea of internships or placements during their course. Getting some work experience while you are studying is the perfect way to enhance your CV, make connections with people working in your industry, and, try out different options before entering the job market for real.
Apprenticeships and the provision of workplace training can help both young people and the unemployed to build links with the labour market and gain useful work‑related skills. When corporates adopt innovative strategies and interact with educational institutions, it can foster the creation of skill-intensive jobs and a better match with workforce skills.
As part of the Way to Work programme, Adecco offers internship opportunities to support your first steps in the world of employment. Adecco offers youngsters internships and job experience opportunities all over the world; both at Adecco and with the cooperation of client partner companies. Through such valuable work experiences, it is possible for youngsters to learn, put their skills into practice, and increase their employability. The biggest success of Adecco’s internship programme is that more than 50% of young individuals are eventually recruited as full-time employees.
This platform offers multiple online tools including information and tips to get ready for the world of work. The topics vary from writing the best motivational letter or an outstanding CV to how to prepare for an interview. As a credible and informed career partner, Adecco offers updates on the current jobs market; helping you to keep abreast of any industry movements, legislative changes, or topical news that may affect your job search. In an effort to assist your career progression, Adecco has also compiled a body of useful guides to equip you with their recruitment know-how. From scribing the perfect CV and achieving interview success, to managing your ‘net rep’ and surviving redundancy, these useful tips, and industry insight will help you to achieve job satisfaction.
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