• Suzanne McMinn
  • 23 August 2012

Is it an age issue or just a sign of the times?

A recent survey conducted by the Princes Trust showed that a third of young people have not received responses to any of their job applications in the past year.

This could be due to the fact that it costs in time and resources to provide a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ response to the many applications that organisations are inundated with currently.

However, to be perceived as the ‘employer of choice’ it doesn’t take long to just drop applicants an email to say that their application will not be followed up and thanking them for their time and interest.  It’s a small gesture but it goes a long way, as never forget that the recruitment process is an opportunity to promote your business to the outside world, so be careful in the messages – or lack of messages – that you provide!

You may look at this survey with a more cynical eye and view whether it’s the fact that young people are not being offered the opportunity to even interview and put their skills and experience forward.

The survey goes on to state that almost three-quarters of the young jobless people who were surveyed believed that finding employment was becoming harder than ever, and 31% included within the survey felt that they would not find employment within six months.

This is a worrying situation for youth unemployment where the Government is trying to promote getting youngsters off the street and into meaningful employment where they can learn and grow skills.

Nick Clegg has stated that the rising rates of youth unemployment are a ‘ticking time bomb’.  Well, with the results of this survey the time bomb seems to be getting worse, and with recruiting employers not even willing to give potential employees the opportunity to interview it may be set to explode!

Surely it’s age discrimination, I hear you shout. Well, I am sure that those young people who have not been selected for interview or indeed even receive a response to advise them of why they are not suitable, are up against some very strict competition in the market place.  Think of all the public sector workers who have recently been made redundant due to austerity cuts, not to mention the private sector industries that have lost business and have either closed or have had to make savings through their people costs.  The recruitment market is flooded with highly skilled people with a wealth of experience.  Employers are looking for the best of the best that’s out there and can afford to be very selective on who they recruit.

With the situation as it is in the recruitment market place it is understandable why employers are not looking to interview younger people, who arguably do not have the same level of competence or skills as other applicants. 

It’s not discrimination; it’s the application of a common sense employer wanting the most skilled person they can get from an inflated recruitment market.  And who can blame them?