In Mexico, Companies Have to Deal Differently with Young Employees

by Rosemarie Fleischmann in — April 2019
Millennials Conquer the Job Market / By Florian Steinmeyer

Mexico City (GTAI) - In a few years, three out of four Mexican workers will be from the millennial generation. Businesses need to rethink their recruitment and retention efforts.

Millennials (or Generation Y) are gaining more and more influence in the labour market in Mexico. In 2020, about 50 percent of the labour force will be born between 1980 and 1993, compared to 75 percent in 2025. On the one hand, this is positive for the companies, as many potential workers are ready thanks to the high birth rate in the country. On the other hand, the young employees are particularly challenging for foreign companies, because they have different expectations than older workers and their peers in Europe.

Blog 2019 Millennials In Mexico

Changeover starts with recruiting

There are already differences during the recruiting process. "Companies should be prepared to address and communicate with candidates via channels such as LinkedIn or Whatsapp," says Rosemarie Fleischmann of the recruitment consultancy Boege & Business. Her company has been part of the worldwide Talentor group since 2018, which also allows her to keep an eye on developments in other countries. According to the expert, traditional communication channels such as e-mail are becoming increasingly obsolete.

In the job interview, the future employees ask other questions than a few years ago:

"The candidates ask about the positioning of the company in the market, to make sure that the job is safe," says Fleischmann. "In addition, they focus more on the corporate culture."

More Benefits Desired

Benefits are gaining prominence in Mexico, especially among the millennials, according to the study "#DNA Millennial Survey 2016-2017" by the recruitment consultancy Hays. According to the survey, under-26-year-olds rated private health insurance as the most important benefits with 76 percent of the responses, followed by a pension fund and a clear career plan.

The group of 27-29-year olds rates contributions into a pension fund (71 percent) higher than the additional health insurance. In third place are monetary incentives. Employees aged 30 to 32, on the other hand, mention private health insurance (78 percent) and a pension fund as the most important benefits, followed by the number of days of leave.

Employees with children are also increasingly asking about reimbursement for kindergarten places or for a company kindergarten. Behind this is the desire to get back to work faster. In addition, the close ties of the extended family are slowly loosening up in traditionally influenced Mexico. As a result the younger generation is less often looked after by grandparents or great-grandparents.

Fast Answers Demanded by Executives

In everyday working life, it is particularly important for young Mexican employees to be able to constantly improve their own knowledge and position in the company. That's what the study "Encuesta Millennials 2018" of the consultancy Deloitte points out: Asked about the most important reasons for accepting a job, 60 percent of the participants in Mexico said that the ability to develop further was crucial for them. The world average was only 48 percent.

This has consequences for dealing with young workers. "Millennials are constantly asking for feedback from their supervisors and want to know which the next step is," says Rosemarie Fleischmann of Boege & Business. Executives should therefore be prepared to invest a lot of time in staff interviews. Mentoring programs that bring experienced staff to the side of the young can be helpful and, in addition, enhance collaboration in teams of different ages

Optimistic about Digitalization

Mexican millennials are extremely open to technical innovations. According to the Deloitte study, 67 percent of respondents believe that Industry 4.0 technologies will enrich their jobs and help them focus on creative tasks. On a global average, only 52 percent of respondents agree.

However, employers should not assume that this translates into superior technical skills. According to statements from companies already based in the country, young employees are very experienced in dealing with social media and mobile devices. However, they say they have no significant advantage over peers in other age groups when researching databases, using office software, or setting up desktops.

In general, the technical skills of graduates of public universities are considered equally good. However, workers who studied at private universities and colleges are said to have better skills in self-organization and foreign languages, with a strong emphasis on the quality of the educational institution. Leading private universities such as the Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Iberoamericana have a reputation as good as their counterparts in the US and Europe. However, there are also many smaller institutions with weak teaching.

Always on the Go

While the Millennials are comfortable with their jobs, they do not stop them from considering new opportunities. According to the headquarter Kelly Services' Tendencias del Entorno Laboral en México (TELM) 2019, 68 percent of respondents are looking for new jobs. 43 percent of this group do this at least once a week. At the same time, 43 percent state that the working climate in their current company is good. 43 percent rate it as mediocre and 14 percent as bad.

When asked which factors can strengthen the bond with their current employer, a better salary with 48 percent of the answers is in first place. Other important reasons to stay are a clear career plan (41 percent), bonus payments (30 percent) and the ability to work in a more goal-oriented way (30 percent). Continuing education opportunities are also mentioned frequently (26 percent).

Legitimate Expectation

The current conditions in the Mexican labour market show that young and well-educated workers can certainly afford certain expectations. Particularly in the metropolitan regions of Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Puebla, and the Bajío region, companies are looking for qualified junior staff. The official unemployment among the 25 to 29-year olds is according to the statistics office Inegi at 4.6 percent not much higher than the average of the population (3.3 percent).

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Source: Germany Trade & Invest