Lazy, demanding and greedy

Dec 11 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Bosses of the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises think that young people are lazy, want too much money and have expectations that are too high to warrant hiring them. So claims a new survey by the Abbey National bank.

The survey of 452 SMEs employing between five and 250 staff found that employers are “particularly disappointed” with the quality of young jobseekers – 28 per cent branded them as ‘poor’. SMEs make up 99 per cent of all businesses in the UK.

Employers in the north east have the lowest opinion of young staff with 68 per cent believing that young jobseekers don't want to work very hard.

Over two-thirds of employers believe that young people want jobs that are more glamorous than those on offer, while over half say they do not want to work very hard and want too much money.

SME employers are so disappointed with young staff that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of would rather choose more mature employees because they are more reliable and work harder.

Gary Hockey-Morley, director of Abbey National business, said that there were many negative perceptions about young people in the job market, even though they are the future workforce of the UK. Employers need to overcome the use of ‘gut instinct’ in hiring, he said:

”Although bosses are some of the hardest working people in the country they are not recruitment professionals and rely on gut instinct. That's why they often choose older, more mature staff.

”However, young people need to be even more professional in interviews and recruiters have to work to overcome gut feel,” said Hockley-Morley.