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  5. Making Small and Medium-Sized Companies Attractive to Young People

2011 Vol.1
Making Small and Medium-Sized Companies Attractive to Young People


What today’s young people want from their job is being able to use their talent fully and feel that their work contributes to others. They have become less particular about the size or type of an organization to work for if the above factors are satisfied. Witnessing a mature, deflationary economy, they do not expect that employment at a major corporation will guarantee a comfortable life, or that salaries will increase regularly. Also, they are connected with others through various information networks and thus do not have a concept of being constrained by workplace culture. What they want from their workplace is an answer to the question of why they work there.
In responding to such needs of today’s young people, small and medium-sized companies have advantages over large corporations in that they can provide a sense of solidarity between the management and employees or a real feel for a company’s entire operation. It can thus be said that small and medium-sized companies now have a great opportunity to attract capable young employees. This paper discusses five key factors for small and medium-sized companies in attracting young people: (1) a shared vision, (2) employees getting a real sense of how their work can contribute to a company’s value chain, (3) utilization of workshops, (4) feedback for employees and visible evaluation, and (5) leaders as facilitators. These factors promote a shift from an organization-centric idea emphasizing efficiency in a company’s chain of command to a view-which centers on connections among individuals- that a company is a place where each employee can fully contribute his or her skills.
Today, customers, investors, and society as a whole are increasingly asking each company why they should deal with the company, and this trend will continue in the future. In such an environment, for a small or medium-sized company, responding to the young people’s question of why they should work there is the first step to going beyond being an organization-centric “company 1.0” or an individual-centric “company 2.0” and becoming a “company 3.0” which draws its competitiveness from connections among the individuals associated with it.