Perhaps it’s time to make way for a new breed of entrepreneur. That’s according to a psychometric study by Thomas International, the people assessment provider, which compared the preferred working behaviour of 1,695 school pupils to over 90,000 working population profiles. Suffice to say it reveals that the next generation of adults could be more entrepreneurial than the current lot. The study also showed that, despite this revelation, the reliance on technology could mark a decline in verbal communication compared to today’s SMEs and entrepreneurs.
By assessing both groups, it was established that twice as many young people reported a preference towards being competitive, assertive self-starters when compared to their older counterparts – therefore more likely to become entrepreneurial. This, according to Thomas International is down to the fear of failure, coupled with the expectation of freedom, authority, power and material reward.
The PPA (personal profile analysis) assessment tool used to conduct the test provided an indication of a candidate’s likely behaviour at work and measured four factors: dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S) and compliance (C). Having answered a series of set questions, each candidate’s profile style was established alongside their pronounced working behaviour. It was all rather revealing.
“Those businesses hiring school leavers and graduates over the next five years need to take this change in working behaviour into account,” explained Martin Reed, CEO of Thomas International. “High Ds can be entrepreneurial, focused on results and driving growth but could also struggle to work for someone or within narrow boundaries so you may need to adjust entry-level roles accordingly.”
There was nevertheless a 22% reduction in influence (I) throughout the test results. For the record, and according to Thomas, those with high ‘I’ profiles are friendly, persuasive and can be depended upon for verbal communication. It is thought, however, the reason for the drop correlates with the rise of, and dependency on, social media.
“The reduction in ‘I’ could be an indication of a dependence on technology to communicate non-verbally across the younger generation,” says Suchi Pathak, head of psychology for Thomas International. “WhatsApp, SnapChat, Facebook and Blackberry Messenger are all the preferred communication tools for younger people and this may be affecting their preferred working behaviour.”