By Jacob Maslow – Branded Content
According to employers, there are three big reasons why big corporations don’t like hiring young people. First, younger workers are more likely to have shorter resumes, less interview experience or skill articulation, company knowledge, or professionalism. Some big employers view more youthful people as less stable, committed to company culture, or more likely to engage in activism.
Compared to older workers, more younger people state that a lack of education, inexperience and transportation issues make it challenging to get to work on time reliably. Even when old enough to get a job, American youth face widespread unemployment due to economic problems, lacking qualifications, and generational perceptions as they try to break into the job market.
Here are the top 5 reasons big corporations don’t like to hire young people.
1. Lack of Professionalism
Most employers complain about young workers’ lack of professionalism in three main categories, especially university students. These include the inability to figure out and discuss their skills and strengths, dressing appropriately for work, and understanding the company.
Compared to older workers, who tend to act more prepared for interviews and have more experience marketing to potential employers, younger workers look inexperienced and less severe to big corporations.
Punctuality and reliability are two significant areas that frustrate employers with younger workers. For instance, employers expect workers to work the schedule they hired them to fill. In addition, younger workers often have transport issues or don’t demonstrate the same respect for schedules and management as do older age groups.
Employers with big corporations often look for enthusiasm and commitment over resumes when hiring entry-level workers. A great way to change an employer’s perspective is to demonstrate that you’ll be there on time, communicate clearly and professionally, put in the hard work, remain flexible, show people skills, and act as a team player.
2. Less Engaged
According to employers, Millennials have a reputation as the least engaged generation at work. A 2016 Gallup study identified Millennial workers are a group that tended to stand out from company culture and commitment.
Part of this lack of engagement is due to less ability to focus or work at a traditional job. With millions of young people working remotely, jumping into digital nomad lives full of flexible work and travel, and living their best lives outside of an office, sticking with a traditional corporate structure isn’t that appealing to many younger workers.
Despite the desire to look for greener pastures, 83% of Millennials told a Cone Communications study that they would feel more loyalt to their company if their social and environmental views aligned. Others stated that it would make a big difference in their attitude if companies allowed them to contribute to an idealistic issue.
Perhaps it’s not just a lack of engagement or lazy work ethic that’s at stake here. Three-quarters of Millennial age workers agreed that they would be willing to take a pay cut for the chance to work for a more socially responsible company.
Younger workers often aren’t just anti-corporation on principle. They’re looking to fulfill important personal goals outside of working a 9-5 job. Suppose companies are flexible and sensitive to employee priorities. In that case, big corporations might find the younger workers are more engaged and committed to the company.
3. High Turnover
Due to plummeting levels of job engagement or satisfaction, younger workers are more likely to jump ship and head for a job that makes them feel more fulfilled. So understandably, employers are cautious about hiring people they suspect will move on after a year or two.
This type of high turnover damages a company’s bottom line. It costs money to headhunt, hire, and train new employees. Second, the workload is spread unevenly if enough qualified workers are not found. Third, less productivity means less revenue.
It’s a good idea for young jobseekers and employers to discuss values, opportunities for social impact, and how they can increase trust, loyalty, and transparency within their company culture and brand.
4. More Likely to Engage in Activism
Professionalism, engagement, social impact, and activism are intertwined with reasons why big corporations don’t like hiring young people.
Younger people tend to be more socially aware and engage in activism. On the other hand, big corporations tend to have more conservative environments tied to public image, investors, and bottom line. Therefore, if they suspect that younger workers are more likely to engage in radical activism, employers from big corporations will look for older people or groups who are more interested in stability, reserve, and company loyalty.
According to Weber Shandwick, one of the biggest global public relations firms, 48% of Millennial-age or Gen Z have spoken up for or against their employers in a general way.
For example, employees in several iconic US corporations have demanded that their company declare its stance on various social, environmental, or political issues during the past few years. In 2019, many employees at Amazon, Google, and other big companies joined protests, signed petitions, or staged a walk-out. In addition, younger employees are more likely to take action on sexual harassment, working conditions, and immigration laws.
Even companies known for open and transparent workplace culture are less likely to hire younger people if they are concerned that they might engage in activism or other radical forms of protest.
5. Rejecting Corporate Jobs
Employers avoid hiring younger people they view as more radical, less engaged, and less professional.
It’s also clear that big corporations often aren’t meeting workers’ needs for meaningful work and high social impact. Many also think that several large companies are too powerful.
As a result, many younger workers are rejecting corporate America. They’re leaving traditional corporate career paths because they don’t want to feel like a cog in a wheel. They need more flexible working conditions to sustain personal goals, family obligations, and geographical freedom. They want jobs that give them a purpose.
At the same time, they’re not all jetting off to the Caribbean as digital nomads. Instead, they’re leaving or avoiding big corporations to seek out companies that allow them to use their skills to make a positive difference in the world.
Photo Courtesy // Jacob Maslow //