(Expansión) – According to data from the latest INEGI intercensal survey of the year 2020, in Mexico, one in four people is considered young, because they are between 14 and 29 years of age.
This means that practically 25% of the Mexican population is made up of young women and men. Therefore, it is clear that the actions undertaken by youth have a high impact on the social, cultural, political, and economic-productive life of the country.
However, when they graduate from university or technical high school, young people face multiple obstacles to enter the labor market or find professional development opportunities. Undoubtedly, this is a pending issue that not only brings with it social problems, but is also a risk for economic growth, since it represents the exclusion of a huge workforce and production.
Thus, in the first instance it is not a secret that, when recruiting, many companies request highly trained profiles and, above all, seek that the applicant has extensive professional experience. At first, this might seem reasonable, since the correct operation of a business requires competent and experienced personnel.
However, with this type of super demanding requirements, a priori, the vast majority of young people whose age makes it impossible to have at least five years of experience in a certain market niche are left aside.
On the other hand, companies that tend to bet on young talent -such as a good number of technology start-ups- show very favorable results in terms of productivity and growth.
I believe that providing opportunities to professional profiles under 30 years of age with soft skills and technical skills represents an important asset, as well as a competitive advantage, since these elements can give vitality and fresh ideas to the work team.
In the same order of ideas, recruiting young people allows for early establishment and a solid sense of belonging to the company or institution. In addition, the possibility of promotions to occupy increasingly higher positions of responsibility implies a significant learning curve, which places the collaborator in a position of knowledge of the processes and work areas, useful for advancing in the corporate vision.
Another aspect to consider is that recruiting young people into a company can accompany them in their training and academic education process, enhancing their profile. For example, investing in company-paid master’s degrees or diploma courses can equip staff with far-reaching tools to increase sales, improve processes, or expand business.
To waste the talent of young people is to lose the possibility of building diverse, dynamic and highly competitive work teams. Outstanding leaders, aware of this, are more likely to mentor less experienced staff members.
I think it is necessary to break paradigms, according to which young people have little or nothing to contribute, so they should limit themselves to listening and learning. Each individual is called to make a difference, through the effective use of their qualities and knowledge.
If there is an insistence on imposing barriers that hinder or nullify the growth and maturation of young talent, let us not be sorry when, years later, there is talk of a lost generation.
On the contrary, youth prove their sense of leadership over and over again, placing substantial issues such as climate change, gender equality, corporate social responsibility and inclusion in a broad sense on the agenda.
Of course, young people will have to do their part by preparing themselves academically, developing skills such as critical thinking and collaborative work, and proposing initiatives to transform the world.
Then, we will be able to create an environment of opportunities for youth, as well as effective talent to turn those opportunities into action projects. We need new ideas, and leaders willing to materialize them.
Editor’s note: José Guillermo Fournier Ramos is a professor at the Universidad Anáhuac Mayab. Vice President of Masters AC, a civil association that promotes effective communication and social leadership. He is also a communication and image consultant, analyst and doctoral student in Government. Follow him on and on . The opinions expressed in this column belong exclusively to the author.