Entrepreneurs invest in graduates with attitude

21 August 2013

Commenting on a recent study by Ernst & Young, a UK entrepreneur believes that the current skills shortage can be addressed by teaching skill and hiring on attitude.

A recent study by Ernst & Young entitled ‘Global Job Creation: A Survey of the World’s Most Dynamic Entrepreneurs’ found that entrepreneurs continue to be some of the greatest global sources of sustainable growth.For their study, Ernst & Young received 200 responses from 35 countries.

The study found that entrepreneurs are driving the expansion of workforces worldwide with 70% of the respondents planning to hire at home this year, compared to 68 per cent in 2012. In addition, 47 per cent of the respondents intend to hire abroad, up from 44 per cent last year. In total, 78 per cent of entrepreneurs are planning to increase their workforce at home or abroad in 2013.

Elizabeth Gooch, UK entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer of office optimisation firm, eg Solutions, took part in the study. She pinpoints the apparent willingness of business founders and owners to look further than experience and instead target graduates and other entry-level employees.

Gooch said:

One key aspect of the job creation report that hits home for me is the ability of owner-managers to really tap into the niche skills and talent available to us in the form of young people and graduates.

According to the study, entry-level graduates are the second biggest pool for job creation, with 38 per cent of entrepreneurs saying that’s how vacancies will be filled. This is a 3 per cent increase compared to 2012. The experienced non-management roles came first and stayed static at 51 per cent. Even those with no degree saw a 3 per cent increase, at 29 per cent in 2012.

While experience mattered when entrepreneurs were hiring in 2012, now they are increasingly looking for graduates with the right attitude. Entrepreneurs are increasingly willing to provide graduates with bespoke, relevant internal training or instead to utilise one of the main external training outsourcing specialists to provide the required structure.

Gooch added:

It’s so easy to look over someone without job experience, but any business could well be restricting itself if it only looks towards this as a genuine indicator of skills and ability to add value to a business. As an entrepreneur of a successful company and of course as an employer, I want to see some practical abilities that can be nurtured and applied as best they can be, and fledgling professionals are a frustrated melting pot of untapped talent.

Entrepreneurs are solid job creators. In the UK of course, there is a national skills shortage, particularly in the IT sector. Eg Solutions has a strong ethos towards discovering and mentoring graduates and we have already joined forces with DorISCentral, a training body working in conjunction with the UK National Skills Academy. In the last 12 months we have taken on a number of graduates, across a variety of roles. These are exceptional skills and fresh minds that many other small to medium sized businesses in this country and worldwide are otherwise missing out on.

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