A Dearth of  Talents?

Once upon a time it was the ultimate goal. Go to school, get wonderful grades, pursue employment in a Fortune 500 company, and work your way up the corporate ladder. With graduate schemes a common part of many of the world’s biggest banks, law firms, accounting firms, and consultancies, this was a well worked path reserved only for the brightest.

But that pattern is changing. More and more big businesses and existing companies are beginning to really find it difficult hiring, and keeping, real talent. Whereas these ones will readily gravitate their way in the past and stick around till they are no longer needed, young talents seem increasingly more difficult to find and keep.

What’s really interesting, though, is that, as multiple studies have shown, there has not been a dearth of young talent in the world. Arguably, this talent is ever more present today than at any time in the past. However, many of these shun the chance to work in mega companies, or up and leave just as they start to settle in. 

Purpose over Pay? 

When asked why they make the shift from Fortune 500 corporate worker to startup founder, many young entrepreneurs give answers that are a variation of: “I want to tackle problems that really matter.” “I’d like to be my own boss.” “I want to pursue my own vision and dream.” “I love risks.”… and on and on.

For many, while big companies may offer brilliant pay packets, they do not offer enough of an incentive in the way of purpose. Decisions are heavily centralized, putting a cap to the level of autonomy each employee feels and enjoys. Although this may work for some, many of the brightest talents would rather head off to a new startup where they are giving an opportunity to make an immediate impact and get as creative as they desire; while others will simply head out and start a business that reflects their passion.

Indeed, a survey commissioned by McGraw-Hill Education back in 2014, found that of the many hundreds of youths surveyed, 73% will pick a job they enjoy over a well paying one. And as shown by yet another study, this time by Lovell Corporation, members of the generation born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s would rather pursue a meaningful work that creates an impact and fulfills their personal goals.

Poor values match poor recruitment

For another study, many big businesses are only now beginning to suffer the result of a poor recruitment policy that reflects an in-grained poor value system. According to this paper, the recruitment system of most big businesses pays more attention to educational qualifications and work history over intangibles like resilience, curiosity, and resourcefulness – common traits of entrepreneurs. In other words, they pursue the result of the formal education system, making no room for entrepreneurial characteristics which cannot be shown on paper.

A village and its shifting priorities

In the end, what many big businesses have truly suffered from is a lack of awareness of the change the business world is currently undergoing. Born into a time where technology and social media have expanded our horizons, the youngest workforce generation is as concerned about their health, satisfaction, and freedom as they are about their next paycheck. 

The internet makes it much easier to see how those who have taken the risk are benefiting. And more young ones will respond by striking out to places where their talent is valued and their purpose fulfilled.

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