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Why I am Impressed with Macedonian Millennials

Over the last 4 weeks, I have personally been recruiting a team of interns for our office in Skopje, Macedonia, and we are close to having 4 recruits onboard. Equipped with a wonderfully efficient new ERP that facilitated scoring over 2000 social-media contacts generated over 3 months, I managed without the help of an assistant, to schedule 10 interviews and zero down on 4 hires. For me this is a minor success, given how hard it has become to hire motivated and qualified IT talent world over, particularly in markets we operate - India, Macedonia and Germany. 

Along the way, I came to appreciate talking to a crop of Macedonian Millennials, perhaps all the way enjoying the contact with the "kids" (as I like to call them), who clearly lie outside my own professional demography.

I was impressed with the honesty of the young women and men. I cannot remember of an instance when I felt the interviewees exaggerated their credentials and abilities. Or even consciously concealed information. One girl told me that her passion is social work, helping underprivileged children obtain access to computers and connect to the Internet; and that she was a nature lover. When asked how these noble passions connected to the E-Commerce programmer-job she was interviewing, she did draw a blank for an awkward moment, but seemed to remain in comfort about her answers from a minute ago.

I was impressed with the professionalism. I didn't hear back from Martin a very strong candidate whom I was compelled to make an immediate offer at the end of the interview on a Friday evening to consider over the weekend and write back to me on Monday. A bit concerned at the prospect of losing a future performer, I sent out one of those canned message to the effect of "if you have decided otherwise, please inform us the same, so that the position can be freed up for other candidates by ... (2 days later)". On the date of the deadline, Martin replied saying he just wanted to make sure that I received his reply from Monday that he had written after intensely weighing his options over the weekend. Unfortunately this mail had gone down somehow in all the mailboxes I use; to be found of course in a minute of searching.

I am impressed with the zeal. Richard was the first intern we recruited and has already been at the job for a month. Both I and our General Manager in Skopje were shocked to receive a call one evening from him, that he was quitting! I immediately called him to find out what happened, and what Richard said surprised me as a first in my career as a manager. He said he's quitting because he wasn't convinced that he was adding value to the company he expected of himself, because he wasn't closing the tasks assigned by his manager, solving problems, and the whole thing was making him feel useless. True to his word, he had a tough job coping with the stresses of being a part of a new company. The sense of commitment I saw in this Millennial that evening was a pure delight. He of course would back to rejoin his duties after a day's break for clearing up his mind.

In all the interviews I scheduled, there was not a single no-show, a different experience than we have in another part of the world.

Needless to say, I am proud of these young people, and rest assured that our future is in good hands.


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