Younger generation say they have skills to succeed, but almost 90% worry that employers don’t recognise their potential, survey reveals

  • 87% of 16-24 year olds believe they have essential digital skills
  • Yet optimism and ability not matched by opportunity – 87% also believe employers focus on experience over potential, is holding them back

London, UK; 15 July, 2022: As the world marks World Youth Skills Day on Friday 15th July, a survey of 500 16-24 year olds revealed that 87% are optimistic about their ability to find a new role, with 4 in 5 declaring they feel prepared with the essential and digital/IT skills needed for existing and future job roles.

However, new research from Arctic Shores, the psychometric assessment pioneer, also reveals the same percentage (87%) believe employers focus too much on past experience and not enough on potential when hiring.

Despite their optimism, 3 in 4 young people felt that a lack of relevant experience or confidence in having relevant skills has held them back from getting a new job.

Furthermore, nearly half (48%) of all those surveyed have dropped out of a recruitment process even when they were still keen on the job, with lack of fairness (27%) the most common reason for doing so.

Half of those surveyed don’t believe or don’t know if they have enough experience on their CV to get their dream job, with 43% believing the CV to be an outdated hiring method. When asked what employers should determine their ‘potential’ based on in the recruitment process, ‘personality’ (39%) was most popular. This was as opposed to academic results, application forms and ability to pass tests.

When looking for a job, over half (54%) of all respondents want training and development the most from their employer, as opposed to remote working (16%).

Ed Halliday, Direction of Operations at futureproof, the technology training company, commented: “At futureproof, we see that many candidates are optimistic about getting some kind of job post-graduation. However, despite the volume of available positions, this is not the case with tech roles. Many candidates are conscious that they need additional extra training to become job-ready – even if they have gone through a tech-related degree.”

Wider concerns

As the country grapples with rising prices and supply shortages, it’s unsurprising that 72% of young people have concerns about the cost of living crisis, with 37% likely to change jobs as a result. However, with the employment process focusing on experience alone, it will be challenging for younger people to get into higher paying roles. More worryingly, over a fifth (21%) feel hopeless for the future.

Robert Newry, CEO of Arctic Shores, added: “As we look to the future world of work, sadly there is a huge mismatch between young people’s optimism in finding a new role and the hiring processes that are currently in place.

“The results reaffirm the urgent need to rethink the hiring process and redefine what employers should look for in candidates; otherwise the social mobility gap between those lucky enough to have specific skills and those that don’t will widen. Why are companies willing to pay ever increasing recruitment fees and inflated salaries for experience rather than growing talent? As roles and skills evolve with digitisation, recruitment needs to follow suit. Scrapping the CV and hiring for potential will address the mismatch and restore the optimism in our younger digital generation.”

About Editor 2549 Articles
Lisa Baker is the Editor of International Business News. As the Owner of Need to See IT Publishing, Lisa is an experienced business and technology journalist and publisher.