The youth unemployment issue has reached the point of ‘social crisis’ with figures creeping ever-steadily upwards and yet many companies are still struggling to fill positions, so why the disconnection?
A recent investigation has revealed a significant gulf between young talent and employers. In a survey of more than 200 organisations, covering a range of sectors, an astonishing 44% of companies said that they do not employ 18-24 year olds.
This low intake of younger workers was found to exist despite recent government efforts to give more young people a chance of finding employment by promoting apprenticeship schemes and incentivising companies.
Initiatives such as the Academy of Sales have already shown that providing young people with the opportunity to gain experience in the sales sector provides both a fresh crop of talent and a new pathway into the working world for the younger generation. Regardless of these benefits, as well as the financial gain apprentices can generate, just 32% of companies have signed up for the government apprenticeship-funding scheme.
The survey also found a disparity between the employment goals of organisations and the current state of recruitment. Results showed that despite the low proportion of young talent within the organisations surveyed, 49% of participants identified recruiting young employees as a key area of focus, with a particular emphasis on accessing new sales talent.
So, if organisations are on the lookout for new, young salespeople and unemployment figures are high, why does the problem persist? This is the question that the Silent Edge white paper Young Talent and Sales, the Disconnect seeks to answer.
There are many reasons behind the gap between young talent and the business world. Key factors discussed in the white paper include:
The stigma of sales
A global survey of almost 10,000 people by Qualtrics in 2012 found that workers spend 40% of their time engaged in non-sales selling; in short sales skills are applicable for a range of roles. Sales is one of the most essential and profitable sectors of the economy, yet there seems to be a reluctance among young talent to work in sales.
The high cost of losing talent
Recruiting and training new employees is an expensive investment, which makes retention even more of an essential focus. Previous studies have shown that the cost of replacing an employee can range as high four times the average leaver salary. The survey also found that the companies that do employ young talent contend with significant attrition rates.
Measuring the right competencies
The differing approaches that companies use to source and employ talent must be a robust and ever-changing process in order to move with the changing needs of both employees and businesses. This survey sought to find out more about how organisations are currently searching for and assessing young talent, results showed that many businesses are using external methods that may be negatively impacting the overall quality of their talent pool.
The generation gap
An additional disconnect has been found to exist between management staff and younger workers; namely the generational divide. Quantitative data gathered for the young talent survey indicates that organisations are struggling to appeal to a new generation of talent, especially within the sales sector. This white paper investigates why sales companies are finding it hard to connect with the millennial generation and what actions can be taken to present sales as a viable and attractive career option, rather than a stop-gap. It also discusses the difference between the baby-boomer generation and those of the millennial regarding value, expectations, and the impact these elements will have on the workplace.
To download your free copy, simply follow the link: www.silentedge.co.uk/resources/young-talent-sales- disconnect/