50% of the bosses of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK – equating to 600,000 businesses with fewer than 250 employees, say that out of all potential recruits, those from ‘Generation X’ top their hire list, according to new research.
Aldermore’s latest Future Attitudes report said this compares to 30% who prefer to employ millennials and just 7% who prefer their staff to be between the ages of 55–74.
This favourability towards those aged between 35 and 54 is down to a number fo factors. 47% of business leaders think they have the greatest industry knowledge, with a further 40% believing they are the hardest workers. 34% also point to their trustworthiness.
These factors are further validated with over half (53%) of business leaders stating that current generation X employees are the most productive, with 50% believing they are also the most focussed.
Meanwhile, 48% admit they have the greatest work ethic.
Carl D’Ammassa, group managing director, business finance at Aldermore, said: “When looking to bring in new talent, it is not surprising that small business owners are looking for employees with good sector knowledge and a wealth of experience.
“However, it is important that they recognise the benefits that can come with hiring younger staff, in terms of a fresh approach to the workplace.”
Generation X individuals may be the most attractive of new hires for the UK small business industry, however they are also one of the most problematic to recruit. 21% of business leaders admit to finding recruiting them difficult, with this figure increasing further to 32% for medium sized businesses, those who employ between 50–249 staff members.
D’Ammassa added: “Attracting and hiring the best industry talent can be a tough task, yet the long-term benefits that even a single new staff member can bring to a business can be very significant. And if an employer can tailor a role specifically for a new employee, this will ensure that the recruitment process will be more successful in the longer term.
“There is no doubt that having a diverse workforce with different perspectives drives innovation and problem-solving, which is why hiring employees with different skills and levels of experience is so important.”