New research suggests that the profile of the UK workforce may be undergoing a generational change, with school students showing more pronounced entrepreneurial aptitudes but fewer verbal communication skills than the current workforce.

The study by global people assessment service Thomas International used its PPA assessment instrument to compare the profiles of of 1,695 school pupils with 91,044 workers. Young people were twice as likely to be assertive, competitive self-starters compared to the employees, which is a strong indicator that they are more entrepreneurial.

Many Umbrella Company Employees will be familiar with psychometric testing. The PPA tool from Thomas International provides an indicator of a job or contracting applicant’s probable behaviour at work, measuring four characteristics: dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S) and compliance (C). All candidates will have a ‘lead’ factor that represents their most pronounced work characteristic.

Those with high D scores tend to be predominantly entrepreneurial, fearing failure but expecting freedom, innovation, authority, power and material reward in their work. High I scores indicate good verbal communication and people skills, and is an area where the young respondents showed deficits in comparison with their older working counterparts.

According to Thomas International CEO Martin Reed, employers who appoint candidates with high D scores will need to keep them challenged with full workloads and tough assignments, as they tend to be driven by results. Appointees with high I scores will be friendly, persuasive and possess excellent verbal communication skills. Mr Reed believes that the age of WhatsApp, SnapChat, Twitter and other technologically-mediated forms of communication has led young people to value verbal expression less highly than the older population.

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