Inga Davids talks with Joe Newbert about the fresh 21st century approach needed to be successful in recruiting and retaining the millennial business analyst.
Inga Davids, Business Consultant with Saratoga, is always looking at the bigger picture, continuously learning and engaging to help her hone her skills so as to be a better consultant.
With a passion for using business analysis as a tool to deliver value and enable her clients’ businesses, Inga has gained experience in both corporate and consulting firms through to a multitude of projects, varying in complexity and scope, within the retail, banking and insurance sectors.
Congratulations on your recent talk at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa, it was well received by many. For those who weren’t fortunate to attend, could you give us a synopsis of what your presentation was about?
Millennials entering the work force are shaking things up as they seek out leadership and careers that are different to previous generations. Most millennials are looking for challenging, purposeful work and inspirational and engaging leaders. This means that organisations looking to recruit and retain millennials need to adapt their engagement strategies, and, from the perspective of a millennial, the talk focussed on the fundamental building blocks that will attract, retain and grow a 21st century business analyst.
The topic is clearly an area that you are personally passionate about. Why do you feel this subject is relevant and important for the business analysis profession?
Business analysis is on the rise and to continue to take this profession forward we need to be mindful of these young ambitious minds, who have a drastically different outlook when it comes to career and employee. In order not to miss out, we need to shift the engagement from ‘how things are done’ towards ‘ how things should be done’. Engagement strategies that have worked for previous generations just won’t cut it – we’ll need a fresh approach to attracting, retaining and developing millennial talent.
Having shared your ideas with the business analysis community. What key points would you like people to take-away, reflect and act upon?
Millennials are known to place a strong emphasis on growth, development and social responsibility. Organisations looking to recruit millennial’s can better position themselves by ensuring that their brand showcases some of these qualities. It’s not just about the flexible-hours and free Friday afternoon drinks. Most of us love the freebies, and sometimes the freebies are linked to employee satisfaction, but
… millennials prioritise continual development, ahead of freebies. Learning new skills is what makes millennials happiest.
Environments that support continual development through on the job training, coaching and mentorship will appeal most to this generation.
Business analysis summit spoiled in terms of the learning and networking opportunities. What was your greatest personal insight taken from the business analysis conference?
The business analysis profession is for the ambitious and fearless. Which means you’ve got to stay on top of your game, push the boundary, find your differentiator and bring that energy and value to your organisation, your client and your team. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a business analyst!
If I’m not mistaken, this was your debut talk sharing with the business analyst community. What words of encouragement do you have for people who may be considering presenting in future?
If you’ve got a story, if you’ve learnt something valuable, or have great insights or perspectives, this is the platform to share those learnings and insights! In the past I somewhat believed that age possibly dictated experience or the value of the story being told, but through great advice and encouragement from mentors this perspective of mine was challenged – no matter the age or how many years you’ve been in the business analysis profession, you’ve got something to share! I’m glad I took on the challenge.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Remember your 20 year old self … remember that person who was bright eyed and bushy tailed, the go getter. Help the business analysts coming in, and create the environments that you wish you had when you started out. The environments that fast-tracked you to reaching your goals!