From house prices to stagnating wages, all indicators suggest they will be less prosperous than their baby boomer parents. So what can employers and recruiters do about it?
Now, students will be graduating with a huge amount of student debt, straight into a job market which offers wages that struggle to cover urban rent and living. Not to mention the fact that unpaid internships are still shockingly rife. Employers really do have a responsibility to start seeing young people, students and graduates for what they are – talented, ambitious, and a huge resource of untapped potential.
We all know the jobs market is changing. Technology and new modes of working are disrupting sectors, not to mention what we see as desirable skills, beyond recognition. Whilst older generations struggle to keep up and companies look abroad to find the talent they need, we are overlooking a section of our own population for whom these desirable skills are second nature. From digital marketing and social media, to web development and video editing, whole swathes of our student population are already streets ahead of their seniors.
Yet employers so often see students as good for nothing by bar or retail work, and graduates as necessary burdens which require extensive training and hand-holding. So this top segment of modern day talent is often disregarded. Whilst, at the same time, companies are shelling out thousands on last minute agency workers or temps when extra capacity is needed. Even if there is a top university in walking distance, the idea that students could fill these capacity or talent voids fails to enter most people’s imaginations.
Employers need to shake off their scepticism about hiring young, relatively inexperienced employees if they want to tap into this talent pool. Indeed, the more we can encourage companies to engage with local student populations, the more experience our graduates will have when it comes to working full time.
So next time you reach for the phone to hire a faceless temp, or are scratching your head about how to set up your company on the latest social media platform, consider taking a chance on a local university student and see what hidden talents they can bring to your workplace.
Gregory Newman is the Managing Director and Founder of Toptask, an app which connects talented local students to employers needing help with tasks.
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