Career and Generation Y 2016

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Identity of the survey
The survey was conducted for the third year by (CareerBuilder Greece), the leading employment website in Greece in collaboration with the Human Resource Management Workshop of the Department of Marketing and Communication of the Athens University of Economics and Business, from April to May 2016. Taking part in the survey were 5 208 young people representing Generation Y (born between 1980-2000) and aged between 18 and 35, who are students or graduates of universities/higher technical institutes from all over Greece. The survey used a structured electronic questionnaire and random sampling methods. The size of the sample restricts statistical error to 1% and makes this the largest survey on Generation Y ever conducted in Greece or in any European country.
Generation Y, or ‘Millennials’, are currently the largest generation in the world. They want to learn, to grow, to know ‘why’. They are demanding, ready to rise to any challenge, adaptable, and ready to change course at any moment. They are the most highly qualified generation ever to enter the workforce. But what constitutes a typical young ‘Y-er’ in Greece? What are they looking for in a job? What makes the ‘perfect’ employer? What salary are they on? How many of them want to go abroad? For which companies do they want to work? In a Greece of crisis and high unemployment, what are the young people of Generation Y looking for in their jobs and their careers?
The survey results were presented at a special event on Friday, June 3, 2016, at Deree — The American College of Greece — in front of the most dynamic Gen Y audience: all the participants in the final round of the Business Talents competition.
Bic Violex S.A supported this initiative by and the Athens University of Economics and Business, which sheds light on a whole generation, Generation ‘Y’, and the new conditions shaping the world of work.

The purpose of this survey is to analyse the attitudes of the young people of this generation in Greece towards their career and what is important for them when thinking about and planning their working lives. In 2016, the survey was enhanced with a section which studies the impact the crisis has had on young people’s careers.

Our aim at is that this survey will open up a productive dialogue between all interested parties  in the private and public sector, so that together we can help this generation, and all those yet to come, to have real career opportunities. No-one should have to work simply to survive. Young people should find a useful meaning in labor and gain more from a productive and creative employment. Young people today have ‘spoken’ through our survey. They want to work for private companies where they can feel proud. Companies that will allow them to keep a balance between their personal and professional lives and give them a sense of security. Companies that will give them the chance to develop, even if this is not always reflected in their salary. For Generation Y, money is the means to make dreams a reality, not an end in itself. They have a highly developed sense of what is right, which is why they quit if they feel they have been treated unfairly.
The majority of them favour technology companies, which makes sense, as this generation checks its mobile phone an average of 43 times a day; it was brought up with tablets and fast internet; it is constantly connected to social media and is perfectly comfortable with the technological advances it has to deal with day after day.

commented Foteini Gaitanli, Marketing Technology Manager for Europe for CareerBuilder and
Demographic data
• 56% women and 44% men
• 41% students or graduates at/of universities in Athens
• 28% students or graduates at/of universities in the regions
• 9% students or graduates of higher technological educational institutes (HTEI) and other colleges in Athens.
• 19% students or graduates of Technical Universities in the rest of Greece account for 19% of the sample.
• 3% students or graduates of universities abroad.
• 63% of students surveyed are undergraduates, while 27% are still studying or have a postgraduate degree (MBA/Msc.), while a smaller percentage has a Lyceum diploma (8%) or PhD (2%)
In which companies would they like to work?
• As regards ownership status, the vast majority of all those surveyed (73%) would like to work for a company in the private sector, while the category of NGOs attracts the lowest percentage (4%). The percentage of people wanting to work in the public (8%) and broader public sectors (6%) is also low.
• Coming second in preference, after the private sector, is self-employment with 9%.


What size of company do they want to work in?
• More than one third of young people (35%) want to work in large companies (up to 200 people) and 32% would like to work in very large enterprises.
• 27% would like to work in medium-sized enterprises (up to 70 people) and 6% in small, family businesses (up to 10 people).


Do they want to work for a Greek or a foreign company?
• 53% of young people would prefer to work for a Greek company and 47% for a foreign/multinational company.
What sectors of employment do they prefer?
• High tech and information technology companies, industry, banks, financial institutions and consulting firms, energy/transport and telecommunications companies and tourism are the sectors that seem to be preferred by young students and graduates, while the agricultural sector, construction, the retail trade and heavy industry are preferred by a smaller percentage of the respondents.


Conclusion: The majority of young people in Generation Y in Greece ideally want to work in large Greek companies in the private sector, with high tech and industry being the most popular sectors.
Which companies do they want to work for?
1. Google
2. Coca-Cola Tria Epsilon
3. Super Market Sklavenitis
4. OTE Group
5. P&G Hellas
6. Karelia Tobacco Company Inc.
7. Hellenic Petroleum
8. Microsoft
9. Nestlé Hellas
10. ΕLAIS-Unilever Hellas
11. PwC
12. Apple
13. Deloitte
14. Aegean
15. Papadopoulos Biscuits S.A
16. Aktor
17. Papastratos
18. Ιnditex
19. National Bank of Greece
20. Ernst & Young
21. Piraeus Bank
22. McKinsey
23. Hygeia Group
24. Lidl Hellas
25. L’Oréal
26. Mondelēz International Inc.
27. Nike
28. AB Vasilopoulos
29. Alpha Bank
30. Korres
31. Titan Group
32. Apivita
33. Ikea
34. Intracom
35. Masoutis S.A
36. Sκroutz
37. Bic Violex
38. Motor Oil (Greece)
39. PPC
40. Vodafone
The results of the survey have been organised into three main areas of interest:
1. Factors influencing the choice of employer/company.
• The three most important factors for young people are opportunities for personal and professional development, their salary/benefits package, and their work environment.
• In the two previous surveys we conducted in 2013 and 2014, young people stated that business ethics is one of the most important elements of a job when it comes to selecting an employer. In this study, we wanted to see what people from Generation Y mean by the term ‘ethics’.
• The three most important factors in shaping the perception of a company’s ethics are how fair it is to its employees, whether it respects its customers and its social responsibility, while its shareholders are the least important factor.


What would make them quit?
• A perceived lack of fairness (84%), working conditions (83%) and failure to keep promises (82%) are the three most important reasons behind someone quitting their job.
• Although opportunities for development (70%) and salary (69%), are the most important factors in choosing an employer, they are not the most important reasons for leaving.
• 50% of the young people of Generation Y say they would resign from their work if their values are incompatible with those of the company, and it is interesting that competition within the company is not a reason for leaving (62%).
Conclusion: Development, salary and the work environment are the most important factors in choosing an employer. However, young people would leave a company because of a lack of fairness, poor working conditions and failure to keep promises. A company that is fair to its employees is seen as an ‘ethical’ company. The basic reasons for which young people leave a company are a perceived lack of fairness, bad work conditions and a failure to keep promises.


2. The impact of the economic crisis on their careers.

• The majority of young people believe that the economic crisis has negatively affected the way they see their career and how their career will develop (66% and 62%, respectively), it has also affected their personal life (52%) and the way in which they see work (51%).
• It seems to influence their decision to change jobs to a comparatively lesser extent (46%), which may indicate that the lack of jobs in itself may not be a determining factor in someone staying where they are.


Info: To be able to better analyse the data on employment and wages that young people receive, we split our sample into two age groups. The first group was young people 30-35. These are the Early Y-ers (as they are called) who were born in the first years of this generation. The second is the youngest group, the Late Y-ers, who are 18-29.

• 71% of young people aged 30-35 were working at this time, while, for the younger respondents (18-29) the percentage drops to 52%.
• The percentage of full-time jobs is higher in the age group 30-35, while the opposite is true for part-time jobs and internships.


Would they take a job outside their field?
We see that young people are very reluctant to rule out a job that is not relevant to the subject they have studied. This is fact is definitely closely connected to the economic crisis and the current difficulties in the labour market. Because of this, young people believe that they could take a job which is not related to their field, as a way of entering the labour market. As would be expected in times of crisis, the older young people get, the more of them are willing to work in a different field.


In current employment
• In answer to the question on net monthly salary, there are significant differences between age categories.
• While 45.6% of younger respondents aged 18-29 receive less than 500 euros, this rate is halved to 21.3% for those aged 30-35.
• Large differences between the two groups can also be seen in the highest pay scales, above 850 euros.
• The difference is minor in the 501 – 850 euro range, to which about one third of all the young people who responded to the survey belong.


What salary do they want to earn?
The young people in our sample were asked what the minimum salary they would like to receive for full time employment would be.
• The minimum desirable salary — the average salary in euro that they would like for a position — is 985 euro in the private sector (min 400 – max 5 000), and 940 (min 300 – max 7 000) in the public sector.
• For a position in the private sector unconnected to their field of study, they would like to be paid 935 euro (min 300 – max 10 000).
• When asked about the minimum monthly income they would like to earn if they ran their own business, the average response was 2 150 euro (min 400 – max 50 000). Here we see that the vast majority of young people expect to earn far greater benefits from their own business.
• Young people expect higher salaries in the private sector than the public, they would expect to be paid less for a job that was not connected with their field of study, and they would like their own business to bring them double the monthly earnings. However, the desired level of earnings in this year’s survey is an average of 100 euros lower. This finding demonstrates that as the economic crisis in the country continues, young people are learning to aim lower.
• There appears to be a large gap between the salary that those who are currently in employment are earning and the salary they would like, which demonstrates that young people are extremely dissatisfied with their salaries. While the average salary that they would like is around 950 euro, 69% of those surveyed who are in work earn below 850.

Conclusion: There are significant differences between the salaries earned by Early and Late Y-ers. In general, young people aged 18-29 seem to be paid much less than they would wish to be. There is a downward trend in the order of 100 euros in average monthly minimum remuneration they would like, in comparison with the previous survey.


3. Their attitudes and orientation in connection with their choice of their career.
Hierarchy of choices regarding work
• When the respondents were asked to list factors in the order of how important they were for themselves and their career choices,
1. job security was the most important followed by
2. a fulfilling lifestyle
3. entrepreneurial creativity
Working abroad

• 48% of 18-29 year olds and 35% of young people aged 30-35 want to work abroad.
• 19% of Late Y-er respondents (18-29) who replied to the survey took steps to find work abroad last year. It is worth noting that this rises to 25% of Early Y-ers, ie those aged 30-35, where it seems that disappointment with the employment situation in Greece is now at its highest.
• The corresponding overall rate in the previous survey was 16%, which demonstrates scientifically what all we see empirically, that the longer Greece remains in a state of financial crisis, the more young people try to leave the country.
• The findings above agree with those of a recent survey (Lamprianidis, L (2015) ) which studied the profile of emigration in Greece during the crisis. This survey noted that, while there was a greater number of young people with very good qualifications leaving the country, there was also a very large increase in the number of migrants who were over 30 years old, something which has been noted since 2010.
• What is interesting here is the gap between the desire for an international career and actually doing something about it. As noted, younger people seem to dream more of an international career, but make less of an effort to make that dream a reality. Young people over 30 seem to be more realistic, as most of those who would like an international career are taking the steps required to achieve it.


Which countries do they want to work in?
• The majority prefer English-speaking countries, notably Britain (27%) and the USA (16%). Other favoured European countries are The Netherlands (10%), Scandinavia (8%), Germany (7%), Switzerland (7%), Italy (6%), Spain (4%) and Australia (4%). What is remarkable is that countries with high growth in their labour markets, such as the Middle East, Africa and China are hardly mentioned by these young people at all.


Reasons For Moving Abroad
• The main reasons why young people would go abroad to work, in order of importance:
1. the inability to find work in Greece
2. the opportunity for international experience
3. a better job
4. expanding their own business abroad
5. demand for specific knowledge and skills and
6. the company expanding abroad


Barriers to moving abroad
1. They don’t want to leave family and friends
2. They don’t want to live outside Greece
3. They don’t know how the emigration process works
4. They don’t know if they have the right qualifications
5. They don’t speak the language


• 34% dreamed of opening their own business and felt that this was more important than a career in a company.
• 28.5-30% have a business idea in mind or in the planning stage.
• 12% of young people 30-35 said they had sought support to start their own business (e.g. participation in workshops), 8% had looked for funding, and only 5% have taken more concrete steps such as opening account books, getting licenses etc. The corresponding figures for the younger group (18-29) are 10%, 7%, and 4%.
• The first aspect we looked at is business orientation, i.e. to what extent young people dream of owning their own business and consider this more important than a career in a company. The results here show young people are moderately focused on owning their own business, and this is the same in both age categories we are looking at, both the Early Y-ers and the Late Y-ers.
• The second aspect we examined is the development of business ideas, i.e. whether young people have a business idea, either in mind or on paper. Here, the overall percentages are lower. The third aspect, which measures whether young people have already made moves towards finding support for starting their business, shows that the percentage which have done so is very low.


Reasons to start your own business
1. Autonomy
2. The challenge of self-creation
3. To earn more money


Obstacles to entrepreneurism
1. The lack of money and recourses
2. Bureaucracy
3. They don’t want to take the risk
4. The lack of acquaintances or a network
5. They don’t have the necessary experience


Conclusion: Approximately 1 in 3 young people who responded to our survey want to start up their own business. A smaller percentage have a business idea, and less than 1 in 10 stated that they have tried to get a start-up going in the last year.

Career Anchors
• The majority of young people chose a fulfilling lifestyle (67%). This shows the importance that young people attach to balancing professional and personal needs.
• 65% want to develop specialised knowledge and skills in their specialist fields.
• 61% consider it important to connect work with a contribution to society, which reflects young people’s need to work in organisations that share their values.
• Autonomy in the workplace and not being restricted by strict rules on time and clothing, for example, is the important anchor for 56% of young people,
• while a significant proportion seems to want to be challenged in their work (54%).
• The career anchor that plays the least important role is that of leadership/management skills (43%).
• To a large extent, young people have a very proactive attitude towards their careers, and believe that they will take positions that will allow them to develop their skills, will provide learning opportunities and let them plan their career themselves, bearing in mind the other aspects of their lives and their personal needs.
• Only a small group of young people expects that the company where they work will play an important role in determining and planning their careers.

Conclusion: Lifestyle, the development of specialist knowledge and skills and having a job which allows people to contribute to society are the groups of career anchors which have most influence on young people in Generation Y when they are making career decisions.
Press Information:, tel.: 210 8115311 Press Release: here

Survey carried out by: (CareerBuilder Greece)



Scientific Research Partner: Human Resources Management Workshop of the Department of Marketing and Communication of the Athens University of Economics and Business(the scientists responsible for the survey were the associate professors of AUEB, Eirini Nikandrou and Leda Panagiotopoulou)



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