Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

What’s in it for me?

Late April 2022, the Dutch multinational Randstad (eg, temporary labour) published the results of a study amongst students (eg, FD). Their main conclusion was that students are more interested in the culture and salary at an organization than its purpose or sustainability. I just wondered why this is even news.

My title above is a phrase that we express once the quid pro quo is not clear to us. Most acts, deeds or transactions have a clear risk-reward balance. Some people have a (very) high risk appetite though. All of our actions are (ultimately) rooted in self-interest; even acts of (alleged) altruism (eg, my 2022 blog).

The Randstad study makes some sense as companies are facing increased outside activist pressure. The “woke” culture has been slowly moving from private life to social media to business environments. Example: Disney’s response to Florida legislation. Subsequently, the newly appointed Disney PR guy was fired.

Companies and organizations – whether private or public – should understand that any pressure will result in counter pressure. This is inherent to the Third Law of motion by Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1726). In my view, it’s (much) better to maintain a low public profile on overly sensitive social issues. I do the same here.

Family-owned companies do not face outside activist pressure as long as these companies maintain a low public profile. Latter should not be hard as most companies are in the business-to-business segment, and relatively few in the business-to-consumer segment (eg, Quora).

I just realized there is more. Marketing communication is based on crowd or mass psychology, while self-interest in rooted in individual psychology. Pushing mass beliefs (eg, purpose, sustainability) towards job applicants with individual beliefs may not be a smart idea at all. Another example of macro vs micro.

Actually, I would be more interested in a Randstad study how such labour agencies will cope with the current and future labour shortages following changed demographics (ie, less juniors, more seniors). I would not be surprised if their survival requires a shift in focus to (very) different regions (eg, Africa, Asia).

What’s in It for Me (1999) by Faith Hill
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-album

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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