COVID-19 has affected us all. There is no denying the lasting effects of the pandemic on the younger generation. With many businesses experiencing an uncertain future and cashflow disruption, 2020 hiring for graduate co-ops and apprenticeship programs came to a screeching halt. Unfortunately, between reduced hiring and limited staff resources for training, the unemployment rate for 15–24 year-olds exploded during the start of the pandemic.
Fortunately, despite these troubling numbers, there are finally reasons to be more optimistic about the future. Businesses are currently stabilizing and adjusting based on the new normal and governments across the globe are creating incentives for businesses to help the younger generation enter the workforce. You may be looking to hire yourself, and your timing couldn’t be better. Here are my reasons why your business can benefit from the value in young talent
Fresh Minds Can Bring Innovation
Beyond temporary governmental incentives, there are several reasons why hiring young people makes sense for businesses. Entry-level and younger employees provide new energy and fresh perspectives while also freeing up some of the bandwidth for more senior staff. Along with this fresh perspective, they also bring important technological capabilities and understanding skills.
Young people are accustomed to learning. If they have just come out of school or tertiary education, they will still retain a mindset that will help them absorb training and new knowledge more readily. As they don’t have a huge amount of previous experience, young people are essentially a “blank slate.” This gives your company the opportunity to develop a workforce specifically trained to meet their organization’s needs and culture.
Additionally, the introduction of new youthful minds has a positive impact on workplace innovation. As these young employees champion and introduce new technologies, they will in turn create an environment that is attractive to other young, future employees. This helps put the company in a position where innovation and idea generation are constantly top of mind.
Tech Advancement & Early Adaptation
Millennials have grown up around technology.
As the younger generation is typically more skilled in technology, their presence also bodes well for championing new and emerging technologies within the organization. Their natural affinity for tech and their ability to apply and understand different technologies quickly sets them apart from other generations in the workforce. This generation is not only able to pick up technologies quickly, but they can also promote the importance of such tools within the organization.
Globally, 88% of GenZ employees believe that AI can improve their job or example – an important factor in the shift to digitization in the new world after COVID. The appeal of these latest technologies for younger generations can help businesses take advantage. With change consistently accelerating and changing client needs, these younger workers can help businesses stay ahead of the curve. Hiring young people has a positive and important impact on driving the business forward in the adoption and use of new software and technology.
Adaptability & Agility
With economic, social, and political boundaries in a state of flux, adaptability gives young people an advantage in a work environment that is more agile, changing and fast-paced than ever before.
It’s Not Too Late
There is a myth that if you have a college degree, you can easily find a job. According to the University of Washington, 53% of college graduates are unemployed or working in a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree. It takes the average college graduate three to six months to secure employment after graduation; this can be discomforting for both prospective employees and employers.
As the world is still defining a new normal, it can be challenging for companies to predict the change in customer needs and operations. As such, companies will need to be flexible to best adapt to this environment. If companies only have a vision for how things used to be, these challenges will persist. That’s why introducing a younger workforce to a company is so important – young employees are not only agile but also hold the key to unlocking new success through technical skills and innovation.
Despite the challenges faced by today’s small and medium businesses, a focus on hiring young individuals might be exactly what is needed to survive and thrive in the future.
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