Millennials should focus on a full range of communication skills

Date: 10 Nov 2016

Bumblebee Design

James Penny, managing director at Barclays Wealth, says the younger generation need to realise a career is in the marathon not the sprint category.


Tell us three things millennials do that hinder their career progression?

Generally failing to allow enough time to prepare; not everything is on Google and instantly available. Then, it’s being patient at certain times; a career is much more in the marathon than the sprint category. Thirdly, not using the full range of communication techniques available, in particular picking up a phone or walking across the office to speak to someone rather than sending an email. Millennials need to understand that many clients, for example baby boomers or Gen X, will potentially operate in a completely different way from them. An appreciation of that goes a long way.

How important is your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility in attracting and retaining young professionals?

It’s really important. Ten years ago, you didn’t get asked about CSR. Now it’s expected that you can talk about it and bring it to life with some examples of what you and your team have actually done over the last twelve months. Having a balanced scorecard to reflect performance is not just about the numbers and CSR plays a big part in this scorecard at Barclays.

What other recruitment strategies do you implement?

Being able to talk about future career paths is essential for our younger talent. We like to show our recruits different career opportunities and there is no better way to do that than for more senior team members to come and talk about their experience; it’s really powerful. As an international company we also like to open the eyes of future employees to the benefits that we can bring in terms of travel and the possibility of working abroad at some point in their careers. Investing in professional development of our employees is also a key priority. Finally, knowing what the work-life balance is like is also important to some candidates, so introducing these themes during the interview process works wonders.


This article was published in Citywealth Weekly, our mid-week roundup of topical news and exclusive expert comments. Sign up here to start receiving the Weekly in your inbox. 

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