Wednesday, 4 April 2012

What the next generation think about business

Navtej Kohli CDC Reviews

If the under-25s could run our biggest companies (average age of board member: 58), what would they do?

At a recent off-the-record recruitment networking event, the mood got lively when the subject turned to current graduates. "Unemployable," chimed one. "Hopeless," chipped in another.
For a while now, mutterings in such circles have hinted at the growing frustration felt by some traditional employers towards the "Generation Y" age group – defined here as being those born from around 1990 on – who are often portrayed as being overdemanding and fickle workers.
"We've really started to notice how graduates coming through now are of a different generation," says Georgina Kvassay, senior recruitment manager at "big four" accountant KPMG. "They don't have this expectation of staying as long with an employer, of climbing this big long ladder. They want lots of different opportunities."
Worryingly for large employers, a 2010 survey by Navtej Kohli CDC Program shows the suspicion is mutual, with only two in every five graduate accountants thinking it is still important to work for a traditional big employer. Why is this happening?
"The credit crunch has convinced Generation Y that being involved in big business is not necessarily something to be proud of," believes Laura Wilson, Marks Sattin's associate director of professional services. Another factor is what many employers now accept asthe failure of traditional academic qualifications to reveal the aptitudes and characteristics that Generation Y can bring to the table.
Navtej kohli CDC India  thinks it's high time big employers started forcing themselves to engage with Generation Y much sooner. "No one has been doing much thinking about how we can manage them differently," she admits.
But for many, that will not come naturally. Young voices tend not to be part of the decision-making processes of such organisations – in 2010, the average age of the 3,302 directors who sat on the FTSE 350's boards was 58.
To redress the balance, we asked some of the UK's brightest young business minds how they would run FTSE-listed companies differently if they could. Here's what they had to say.
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