April 03, 2014 - Rachel Miller
The personality profile of the UK workforce is likely to change over the next five years and young people are likely to be more entrepreneurial but less verbally communicative, according to a new study.
The research by Thomas International compared the preferred working behaviour of 1,695 school pupils to the profiles of almost one hundred thousand working people. The assessment tool measured four personality factors – dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S) and compliance (C).
It found that twice as many young people report a preference towards being competitive and assertive self-starters. It highlighted the rise in "high dominance" personality types who expect and want freedom, authority, power, material reward and innovation to be part of their working lives.
"Those businesses hiring school leavers and graduates over the next five years need to take this change in working behaviour into account," said Martin Reed, CEO of Thomas International. "If you hire a 'high D' you need to challenge them. They will be driven by tough assignments and a full workload. High Ds can be entrepreneurial, focused on results and driving growth but could also struggle to work for someone or within narrow boundaries."
The study also found that there has been a 22% reduction in the number of young people with an 'I' profile – those that are friendly, persuasive and good communicators. The report suggests that this could be because young people are increasingly dependent on technology for communication rather than face-to-face interaction.
Suchi Pathak, head of psychology for Thomas International, said: "WhatsApp, SnapChat, Facebook and Blackberry Messenger are all the preferred communication tools for younger people and this may be affecting their preferred working behaviour."