🟡 What skills do you look for when hiring young people?
Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis, said as well as being able to collaborate and work hard, it’s important to be nice. “I mean listening to others, not take credit for something, truly listening.” He says as the pressure mounts in the workplace and environments are becoming more competitive, it’s increasingly hard to show these qualities. The leaders also agreed that companies are currently in a period of hard transformation and the young need to demonstrate skills to match this. They need to be fluid and adaptable. “Transformation is hard and it’s about resilience,” said Sadoun. People who get knocked down need to be able to pick themselves up again. “When you find this kind of young talent they can go far.”
🟡 How can big companies be attractive to a generation that wants to work for environmentally sustainable companies?
Bas Burger from Global Services at BT made the point that if young people really want to have an impact on climate change then working for a big company will give them the opportunity to have the biggest influence. “Most of the large companies I know really want to educate people well, which will allow you to be more effective in a short period of time.” Brian Sikes, who leads Cargill’s global protein and salt businesses, stated that if a company acts responsibly and sustainably, they’re more likely to appeal to young people. The challenges industry is facing with climate change can be tackled more successfully with young people challenging them from inside the organisation.
🟡 What new values can our generation bring to the table?
Nicola Sharon Mendelsohn from Facebook said ultimately young people have the power to make businesses better. “All the research tells us that the values you hold as a person is what you look for in a company.” She said the young are digital champions, skills that all companies currently need. “The youth of today also think globally,” an attitude that’s definitely changed in recent years. Their passion for diversity and inclusion is something that should be driving companies to reflect on and act on.
🟡 How fast is your company managing the transition to environmental sustainability?
Julie Teigland EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner, said her company has committed to be carbon neutral by 2020. But she also stressed that a carbon footprint of a professional services company is very different to that of a manufacturing company – so each business needs to think about their own situation carefully.
🟡 What compromises do big companies have to make to tackle climate change?
All of the leaders agreed that big companies need to make commitments not compromises. But for the Adecco Group, which serves 100,000 enterprises every day, the biggest challenge is time. Alain Dehaze asked why companies aren’t all acting now. “We don’t yet have the technology. We need time to research and develop the solution.” He said that’s where young people can play a role. They are needed to be innovative and push the boundaries so climate change can be tackled effectively.