Main challenges companies face when attracting youth

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Companies are looking for young employees for their fresh perspectives, technical skills, and purposeful motivation, but finding and acquiring these people can be quite a challenge. We sat down with representatives from Deutsche Post DHL Group, Husqvarna Group, and ING Group to talk about the main challenges companies face when attracting youth.

Local or global?

“One of the key challenges is that youth need to decide if they want to work in a corporate environment, like a global company, a local company or a start-up”, says Silke Hein from Deutsche Post DHL Group. Companies need to understand what people really want and also show that the interns have the possibility to work in a start-up atmosphere even in large global corporations, she explains. This is actually an interesting approach to the subject since startups have become very attractive in the eyes of young people in the recent years; some reasons for that being a lifestyle choice and rejecting the “traditional” 9-5 desk jobs.

The right fit

Another aspect that Silke Hein mentions is that it is difficult to hire talents for specific functions, such as IT or finance. “A logistics company like ours might not necessarily be the first choice for those candidates”, she says. To attract these talents companies should show that they have interesting projects that might not be that obvious on the first look.

Melissa Lesser at Husqvarna Group sees it similarly. As an organization that focuses strongly on products and engineering, those positions can be less attractive to young people. “Most of the opportunities you can find with Husqvarna Group are related to product management, customers experience and manufacturing”, she says. Melissa Lesser also adds that these are very interesting once one is actually working in those positions, but it is a challenge to attract and generate interest in young people.

The mindset

Another aspect that Melissa Lesser sees as a challenge is the gender distribution. “Mostly all of our local leadership positions are taken by men, and we want to inspire women to be a part of our organization and to implement change through engineering and connectivity”, Melissa Lesser says; she also mentions that AIESEC has helped the company to overcome that challenge. All in all hiring more women is beneficial to a company, as it gives diversity to the voices in the organization, helps in pay equity and supports role models.

Camilla Krum at ING Group stresses the values young people have. “I think it (challenge) is to find young people that have values that are aligned, and especially the key behaviors that we need”, she explains. Camilla Krum mentions that it is not difficult to find people with great technical skills, but that it’s more about the mindset. “The right motivation to cooperate with others, teamwork, not being afraid to get their hands dirty when necessary – – these kinds of behaviors and values are essential, and that’s where we find the value in AIESEC as well”.


Attracting young people is challenging. Companies need to be aware of what their future young employees want, without forgetting what the organization’s values and behaviors are. Matching these two can be quite the challenge; if you want your company to benefit from young talents like DPDHL Group, Husqvarna Group, and ING Group, be sure to visit AIESEC’s internship portal.


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