“A leading company in the X sector is looking for a proactive, motivated and results-oriented employee. We offer a substantial salary and social guarantees,” – this is a more or less standard job announcement. However, how specific is it both in terms of describing a company and a potential candidate?
The above-described job advert raises a plethora of questions: is it presenting the company properly? Does it reveal its true identity and help it to stand among the competitors? The same aspects are relevant to the potential employees: will they recognise themselves in the call? Are their talents valuable?
Details are important. The professionals, who are organising the largest career planning and contacts event for young people in Lithuania, are sure of that. They emphasise that there are aspects that help to stand out among others, that have a great influence on the final result of the recruitment process. However, in today’s rapidly changing environment, it is not always easy to answer which details are the most significant.
On Wednesday, October 26, Lithuanian and foreign professionals from more than 140 companies will share their insights on these topics, in the traditional annual career planning and networking fair KTU WANTed Career Days 2022.
Hundreds of jobs in one place
The team of organisers is happy that after two years, they can finally invite thousands of participants to Kaunas Žalgiris Arena, where students, graduates, schoolchildren and representatives of companies will be able to meet face to face. According to the survey of the companies registered, every organisation plans to offer at least 3 to 100 jobs at the upcoming fair.
Three companies – Epam, Teltonika, and TransUnion – are the main partners of the event. The partnership is also supported by: ABB, Centric IT Solutions Lithuania, Coherent Solutions, Continental, Festo Lithuania, HELLA Lithuania, Hollister Lithuania, Ignitis Group, LITGRID, and Mars Lithuania.
Learning from the good practices and the surveys, the programme of the largest career event in Kaunas consists of meetings, company presentations, and discussions; the interactive spaces for inspiration and rest will operate in the venue. During the event, the visitors will be able to get information about internships or jobs, participate in interactive activities, and listen to presentations or discussions. At the conference, industry representatives will share their insights on their work or the company’s daily life. At the conference, journalist Dovydas Pancerovas and Karolis Rimkus, the founder and head of a social networking agency will talk about important aspects of their career. The conference will be moderated by TV presenter, and stand-up comedian Mantas Stonkus.
The focus is not only on professional knowledge
The KTU career fair, which promotes networking between industry professionals and students, has been organised for eighteen years. According to Kristina Skučienė, the Head of the KTU Student Affairs Department, this year, the companies participating in the Career Days were very enthusiastic about the invitation to talk, ask questions, discuss prominent or less noticeable job market aspects and their impact and importance on personal careers.
“What are those aspects? They are very varied. For example, they include organisational values, maintaining the balance between work and leisure, organisational culture and climate, sustainability, and other important things,” says Skučienė, whose department is also in charge of career centre advising students on all the issues related to career development.
Erika Jucevičiūtė-Barisė, Head of the Partnership Development Office at KTU says that today’s companies pay attention to certain details when selecting potential employees. Her insights are based on her daily experience in communicating with company representatives,
“Companies mention that young specialists should not only have professional knowledge but also possess interpersonal skills, the so-called “soft skills”. It is a person’s ability to communicate, to work in a team, to build professional relationships, which help to maintain a pleasant climate at work for both colleagues and managers,” says Jucevičiūtė-Barisė.
However, according to her, in addition to fluent written and verbal communication, the ability to work in a team, knowledge of etiquette and time planning, several other skills are not so often discussed. For example, critical thinking and the ability to solve problems creatively often rank alongside other desirable competencies. It is becoming common for human resources specialists to test critical thinking skills during the job interview – it is checked how the future employee thinks, how he accepts certain information and what conclusions he draws after receiving it.
“This is especially important if the organisation wants to find out whether the employee will be able to adapt properly in the team, make important decisions for them and the organisation, and cope with situations that occur every day at work,” says Jucevičiūtė-Barisė, one of the organisers of the Career Days.
According to her, in most companies, especially those where the so-called “flat” organisational structure prevails, the employee is expected to organise their work and make decisions on their own most of the time.
“Sometimes, when faced with a bigger challenge, an employee has to open the door of the manager’s office. It doesn’t matter whether the company has a flat or hierarchical structure, the manager expects that the employee will come not only with a problem but also with ideas for solving it,” the Head of the KTU Partnership Development Office says.
In the opinion of the specialists, modern educational methods are particularly useful for the development of critical thinking and creativity. One of them – challenge-based learning (CBL) – is systematically applied at KTU. This method allows learners to focus not only on analysing the problem but also on generating solutions adequate to the situation.
Among the important details are determination and values
As Skučienė, who heads the Department of Student Affairs at KTU, tells us, today’s students no longer need to be convinced why it is important to plan their career from the very first year.
“On the contrary, our students look forward to the career events to get to know companies that are new to them. Students are preparing for career days to show their best when meeting with company representatives,” she says.
According to Skučienė, when analysing the career planning habits of students, a clear change in the behaviour of young people is noticeable: “We see that they invest more and more time in gaining professional experience, actively choose job shadowing or voluntary internships. Before entering the job market, the students need to know the significant details that distinguish business sectors, companies or specific job positions from one another.”
It can be seen that over the last few years, integrity in the workplace has become more significant for young people – they need to feel that their employer shares similar values as themselves.
“Each member of the organisation is a personality with his scale of values. The employing organisation also has its scale of values. Therefore, it is very important that the value orientation of the new person joining the team coincides with that of the company,” observes Jucevičiūtė-Barisė.
Skučienė emphasises that the role of the university is to educate professionals and, at the same time, personalities with a strong value base.
“Recent events demonstrate, how the student community is paying more and more attention to the values. For young people, only the values dictated by the environment are no longer suitable, they need to define for themselves which qualities or traits they consider to be important. And it is becoming more and more important that these values are shared both by the university and the employers,” says Skučienė.