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Recruitment advantage if a company can offer a home office

What are the challenges facing HR and recruitment? Do we need a special mindset for Generation Z? Is a female leadership quota in companies a good thing? These and similar professional questions were discussed at the recruiTECH recruitment conference by Magda Bába-Szabó, HR Director of Generali Biztosító and Anett Bognár, HR Manager of KPMG Delivery Network with recruitment expert Gábor Toldi.

Bába-Szabó Magda és Bognár Anett-

Since covid, employment has been almost exclusively challenging, and we too have to dynamically change our jobs, our attitudes and our candidates to match the dynamic changes in the world, of which - unlike a year ago - there are now a good number out there on the market. However, finding the most suitable candidate among them is a huge challenge," said Magda Bába-Szabó, HR Director of Generali Biztosító. What is perhaps even more challenging is to know what our company needs," says Anett Bognár, HR Manager at KPMG Delivery Network. "It's hard to really articulate well the goals we need to achieve with recruitment, what we need to bring in, whether it's culture, skills or building a plan for the future," the HR leader summarised her experience over the past period. When it comes to skills and how the company works, data-driven operations are the future and even the present, adds Magda Bába-Szabó.

Worth bringing in new knowledge

The HR director of Generali also drew attention to another phenomenon at the company: "4-5 years ago, we started using these upskill-reskill methods, where we want to equip existing employees with new knowledge or even employ them in completely new jobs. A lot of energy can be put into this, but somehow it doesn't work across the whole spectrum of activity, because applying the knowledge acquired is often a major challenge. We see that it is still more efficient to import new knowledge, to strengthen recruitment points, because there I get the knowledge I need immediately, because time is the scarcest" , noted Magda Bába-Szabó. But Anett Bognár said that it is worth investing in training for the younger generation, as they want to learn. Regarding the inclusion of Generation Z, the Generali HR manager says: there are general stereotypes that are true and it is worth paying attention to them, but there are also individuals and life situations. Because it is almost natural for a young person to change career every 3-4 years, while a 40-50 year old employee can work in the same position for 10-15 years. Generation Z is characterised by courage, they can tell you much quicker if they don't like something than a Generation Y employee. The use of words in corporate culture is different whether you speak Hungarian or English with Hungarian words. "Somehow you have to find a common voice, but here we are talking about much more than simple generational characteristics: culture, who brings what from home, personality, environment. These all influence the integration of a young worker," added Anett Bognár.

Job hopping

According to HR managers, job hopping is also very common nowadays, with workers spending an average of 3 years in a company. The expectations of employees are high - confirmed Magda Bába-Szabó - and it is up to companies to rethink this. The other side of the coin is that in many companies, excessive workload is also a major problem, "which will not be sustainable even with all kinds of wellbeing and other measures", said the HR director of Generali. It is the responsibility of employers to find a balance on how to better prioritise. Home office is a significant issue for employees - it is already an expectation for many prospective employees. "The amount depends on the job, but on the other hand we have noticed that colleagues like to come in, be in the community, exchange experiences and learn from each other," says Anett Bognár. "The number of days you can work from home at General depends on your life situation," said Magda Bába-Szabó, "the average age of 45 shows that we work with colleagues with families who want to fit their own life situation. Therefore, the existence of a home office is a clear recruitment advantage for us", the HR manager added. He says that teleworking is not a devil's errand and not necessarily a foot-dragging exercise, because in the end it is the performance of the employee that matters. "Often it is the overwork that is more apparent in such employees and it is precisely to teach colleagues to be able to separate work from family at the end of the day," he added. Experts say that in the era of the home office, particular attention needs to be paid to community building. "You can get lost in the remote, especially in jobs where there are stereotypes that people like to hide behind the computer and stay out of social activity. Their involvement is the responsibility of the manager"- said Magda Bába-Szabó. "It's all about the experience of collaboration. We do red days - our company colour is red - when everyone wears something red. We take photos, put the photos on social media and it also gives a feeling of togetherness. Experience shows that an inspiring environment is also important for employees. We've got over the >open office desk everywhere-you can't stand up from a bean bag< mindset tsunami, we're now at the point where we need a fancy, Instagram-ready office image," he adds. "The office is a glue that brings people together, it's part of the corporate culture. What's the experience like for them coming in, what's the chemistry like between colleagues? These are very important questions," added Anett Bognár. The HR manager says: "We also did a survey on the needs of employees in connection with hot desking and it turned out that, for example, everyone wants to have their own desk."


Make a quick decision after a job interview

The experience is important not only for employees, but also for candidates. "I think it's essential for credibility that they get when they walk in as what they thought they would. It's important how the recruiters treat them, how responsive they are, how quickly they get information, how much the candidate feels that they are there for the recruiters and not just representing the company," added Anett Bognár. "You can't attract a candidate without conveying an attractive image," said Magda Bába-Szabó, "because we like to be part of the attraction. You really can't do 5-8 rounds of interviews anymore, you have to be quick, as the candidate will get another offer from elsewhere and often compete with us. Although the job market seems to be slowing down a bit this year, last year we had a regular situation where we make an offer quickly, he likes us a lot and doesn't choose us, or if he does choose us, he changes his mind after two days. These are very expensive solutions", summarised the recent recruitment experience of Generali's HR manager. Professionals agree that face-to-face meetings are necessary, as this is when the candidate experience can really take place.

What's new with quotas?

"The other exciting area is the pool of female managers, we have quotas and KPIs in these areas: 50% for strategic positions (CEO -1 level) and 45% for all female managers," said Generali's HR director. "I am a quota caller, but we must not exceed the quota. When the question arises 'are we marginalising someone as a man just because they are a man...', there is a problem. The answer is of course not," said Magda Bába-Szabó. "At KPMG we also have a quota of 50% women in management, but we don't have to pay so much attention to that. We are doing well in Hungary right now because there are more women in senior management than men," outlined Anett Bognár. But this is not a pattern in recruitment. "We don't hire a man or a woman, we hire the best candidate who applied for the position. Performance counts," said Generali's head of HR. "The recruiter has to be clever to find the right male or female candidate," said the HR manager at KPMG Delivery Network.

In the opening photo, Magda Bába-Szabó on the left, Anett Bognár on the right

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