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The importance of Total Career Management for Millennial Managers

Interview with Patrick Meirlaen, labor market specialist and CEO of The Future Alliance (partner of IESF) about the future of HR and the shift to Total Career Management in redefining the recruitment process post COVID-19. “Outplacement on the one hand and team crafting on the other, are becoming trends. People have to reinvent themselves and organizations are also in transition. In the near future companies will apply to candidates and not the other way around.”

The labor market

Patrick Meirlaen is a dedicated executive search partner of IESF. Delivering talented leadership to companies from various industries for over 20 years: “When I look at the developments in the recruitment industry it’s becoming outdated to only focus on attracting the best candidate for your company. Candidates will take the leading position when it comes to finding a suitable position. Companies should put more focus on presenting themselves as a good employer. The reason is very clear: the next ten to fifteen years there will be less entrants and more outflows in the labor market. The suitable candidates will be better educated in the future. Managers will become the engineers of tomorrow, because they become rare. Candidates can choose from every employer or job they want to.”


“But here is the crux, it will no longer be just about making the match between an employer and a candidate. Career Management is becoming one of the most important tools for an employer to motivate their employees. It’s an important component of the total rewards, and it’s the biggest driver of engagement among Millennial employees. Future managers strive to make a difference with what they do. They want to be seen and work on projects that give meaning. Where it used to be all about rewards in means of payment, bonusses, training opportunities and promotion. Millennials and the managers of the future prefer working conditions like less travel, working from home, flexible time schedules and to craft their job together with their employer based on their personal strengths and preferences.”

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Mark Twain

“Career development helps employees to take stock of who they are and where they want to go in life. In order to achieve growth, continue learning, and achieve momentum in your career you must assess your situation and your goals frequently, otherwise you doom yourself to the fate of a robot working a daily routine. Career development doesn’t mean employees have to develop the career they’re currently in, but can also mean changing careers, even changing environments. We see a growth in companies actively facilitating career development coaching for their employees. Employees positively rate these initiatives, because it gives them the feeling of being heard, and being important to the company, not just as an asset. There are a few career development questions employees can ask themselves. I always advise the people to answer the questions honestly and reconsider the questions from time-to-time as your desires may change. Talk with an official coach to address the topics in an analytical way:

  • What made me happy when I was a child?
  • Where do I want to be in my career at the end of this year?
  • Am I happy where I am now? If not, where do I want to go?
  • What job would I like to retire from?
  • Do I like the field I’m working in?
  • What would I like to learn more about?

Employer benefits

The answers to these questions give the employee a clear roadmap for what they’ll need to do to progress from one level to the next. This also opens up opportunities to have insightful conversations and check-ins with their manager(s). As an employer you can define career paths for your employees in your organizations. The shift for HR is to meet these changing needs of their future employees. Total career management can be a worthwhile approach for driving engagement in the right culture. It’s a proven tool in proactively managing and preventing burnouts and bore outs. In addition its also strengthens the retention in an organization. While some CEO’s expect it to cause more turnover in staff. The opposite is true: managers that feel heard and seen are not likely to switch jobs. With My Future Works we developed a career workbook to support Total Career Management.”

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