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Millennials, take note: Companies hire emotionally intelligent talents, exec says

A Unilever exec says character is also a crucial factor when recruiting a talent these days.
By Elyssa Christine Lopez |

CHARACTER MATTERS. A Unilever executive told Entrepreneur.com.ph that character and emotional intelligence are key factors when recruiting new talents. Students of the University of Sto. Tomas are lining up for job application at the Unilever's booth at the career fair. / Photo from UST Counseling and Career Center 

 

They have been called narcissists, entitled, and impatient—but if millennials make up half of the work force at 48%, according to the National Statistics Office—companies have no choice but to cater to their demands and hire the best among the pack.

 

This has led to more competitive compensations, comprehensive training programs, and flexible working hours to cite a few.

 

For multinational corporation Unilever, innovation and change are constants, and the company has prepared for the changing hiring and business trends through the years.

 

“We have to adapt to the changing tides and on how to deal with people. For example, now, we offer our employees agility—from the ability to work from home and assessing them based on their outputs and not on their time in the office,” Unilever Vice President for Innovations Paul Stevenson shared to Entrepreneur.com.ph on Thursday, April 14.

 

This “agile working” environment was first introduced in 2012 in select locations of the company but has been in full global effect by last year. For Stevenson, who was a backpacker prior to his immersion in the corporate world, he believes work-life balance has become an important company value for many corporations.

 

Related: How Dell, Deloitte, UnitedHealth Group succeed with remote working


 

‘What sets you apart?’

In a 2015 study conducted by Indeed.com, a US-based job search engine, several corporations have followed the trend with Colgate-Palmolive topping the list. Johnson and Johnson, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) and Google are some of the other brands included on the top 25.

 

But if companies are willing to drastically transform company culture for the recruitment of young talents, what do they demand in return?

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“Academic achievement is a given, but more importantly is the character. What drives you, and what sets you apart from the rest? There must be a sense of emotional intelligence,” Stevenson added. 

 

In a study by TalentSmart in 2014, an emotional intelligence think tank, it showed that 90% of top performers are skilled in managing emotions during stressful situations.

 

Marlon Chuang, senior manager of the learning and development team of Maybank Philippines Inc, echoes the same sentiment. As based on the company’s recent recruitments, the youth are “impatient” and want things done “right away.”

 

“These qualities are both good and bad in a way. But if your threshold for pain or stress has become limited, that’s when it becomes a problem. Progress takes time, and millennials need to understand that,” Chuang added.

 

Both Unilever and Maybank Philippines are participants of this year’s career fair at the University of Santo. Tomas (UST), joining 106 other companies that are offering more than 500 job opportunities from April 13 to 15.

 

This search for emotional diversity, especially for opening more doors to women in corporations has become a strong cause in recent years; even the World Economic Forum held a separate talk for it cause in Davos, Switzerland in January 2016, acknowledging the challenge it poses in companies.

 

Related: ADB study shows there are still few women in Asian boardrooms


“If you look at the big companies, there’s a big push for diversity, and it’s only when we have that balance that we can make educated decisions as a company,” Stevenson added.

 

However, some students at the UST Career Fair still have more problems to think of other than their emotional welfare.

 

Ryan Jeffrey Jimenez, a graduating student under the Information Systems program of the College of Engineering, believes good compensation remains as the main factor in accepting a job offer.

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“There are not many choices right now in the fair for soon-to-be IT graduates like us, so it’s quite difficult to say what we would demand from a company as of the moment. But I believe, a good pay will be a big contributing factor when considering jobs,” Jimenez told Entrepreneur.com.ph.

 

Related: What millennial graduates want from employers

 

 

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Elyssa Christine Lopez is entrepreneur.com.ph's editorial assistant/staff writer. Follow her on Twitter. 

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