by FRANK NAGORSCHEL
Here, at Crystal System Group Ltd., we recognized and anticipated the lack of qualified resources, especially in the IT sector, since 2004. As a consequence, we invested in students and universities to offer courses in IT relevant subjects and programming languages such as Business Intelligence & Analytics, ERP Programming, Database Programming, Java, and much more. Since 2004, we expanded this program and we are cooperating now with six universities in three countries: Romania, Republic of Moldova and Albania.
Crystal System has transformed 10.000 students into digital talents since 2004 when it started. Some of them got hired by us – most of them found, not only but also thanks to their digital prequalification offered by Crystal System, their entry into their personal career path or got placed in the IT market with our support.
We are working transnationally with multiple clients in multiple countries, so for us it was of interest not only to have the Romanian talents in focus, but also at least one other European country, in order to have a possibility to compare and optimize where necessary. On a specialized web-page, we found a study at the University of Bayreuth / Bavaria, which analyzed the digital candidate journey with the same intention as Crystal had. We took this study as a baseline and asked the students in Bucharest exactly the same questions.
Our study analyses to what extent this assumption applies. It follows the journey by dividing it into seven main stages: Awareness, Contact, Interaction, Relevance, Lead, Information, and Application.
In Romania, we started an online survey and addressed 1.500 students in Bucharest. 511 student took part in the online survey. In Germany, 540 students participated.
HERE ARE SOME RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
Awareness: Where do students look for job offers?
In Romania, the top 3 job portals named by students are e-Jobs, LinkedIn and Hippo. In Germany it is Stepstone, Indeed and Monster. In conclusion, it could be stated that Romanian students are focused more on local platforms, while in Germany students are using more international platforms.
Contact: How & Where do students want to be approached by companies?
In Romania, the top 3 platforms where students prefer to get contacted by potential future employers are LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Facebook. In Germany, the top three platforms are LinkedIn, Xing and Kunuu. In conclusion, it could be said that Romanian students are receptive on all channels, while German students make a clear differentiation between professional life and private life. Still of importance in both countries is the human touchpoint, as in both countries 75% of the interviewed stated that they visit career events or job fairs.
Interaction: What corporate offers are of special interest to you? – What communication channel with companies do you prefer?
In Romania, the top 3 listed corporate offers preferred by students are internships, projects, soft-skill training. In Germany, there are internships, theses for exams and projects. In both countries, students are keen to prove themselves in internships and projects. It is remarkable that Romanian the soft-skill training ranked third – which matches the industry expectations, – while in Germany this subject ranked seventh.
In terms of communication channels, students in both countries prefer a chat with direct human contact via social media or WhatsApp followed by digital office tours in Virtual Reality or Virtual Corporate Contact Fairs. Communication via Chatbots / Artificial Intelligence is ranked at the bottom of the list.
Relevance: Students KPI’s to choose an employer.
In Romania, the top 3 KPI’s are Career Opportunities, Salary, and Atmosphere at work. German students focused on Work Tasks, Work Atmosphere, and Work-Life- Balance; In Germany, Salary was ranked in the 4th place.
Lead Data: Students preferred the transfer of personal data.
In both countries, the majority of students prefer a data transfer after they have taken a business card and / or analyzed corporate brochures and websites. The results are nearly equal, even if in the Romanian survey multiple answers were allowed, while in the German study only one answering option was permitted.
Information: Preferred information media when students are looking for an employer
In Romania the preferred information media is the direct discussion with a corporate representative, which ranked first, followed by the corporate website and corporate product image. The next information media named are Employer Ranking Portals and Friend suggestions. In Germany the Corporate Website ranked first, followed by corporate product image. Immediately after are the image of and recommendation by friends, and then the Discussion with corporate representatives. Social Media and Corporate advertising are ranked in both countries at the bottom of the list of information media preferred.
Application: Students’ preferred ways to apply. In both countries, the application via corporate website (CV-Form, PDF-Upload, etc.) is the preferred way to apply. Romanian students ranked this with 68% and German students with 75% on top of their preferences. Application via email (sending a CV as PDF) is clearly placed on rank 2 – in Romania 67% of the students voted for this as the preferred option, and in Germany 72%. Application with just one Snap / Video is ranked slightly above the application via postal service, at the end of the table.
Recommendations: ✓ (1) Sharpen your profile as an employer by authentic employer branding
✓ (2) Ensure simple and fast digital options for candidates to apply
✓ (3) Use Chatbots, Snaps and Video application tools selectively (i.e. for positions where it is important for the applicant to present himself/herself and be self-confident to speak to clients or a group of people – such as sales, marketing, customer support etc.)
✓ (4) Create “ touchable touchpoints” for cooperation, i.e. internships, mentoring, etc
✓ (5) Select your team for career events carefully – likeability and competence counts
✓ (6) Ensure that your hiring manager has a professional recruiting mindset
✓ (7) Come into personal contact with candidates as early as possible
✓ (8) Consider different recruitment strategies for different countries, to match local candidates’ expectations. ■
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