Young minds can take your business to the next level!

Earlier this month, Young Entrepreneur (www.youngentrepreneur.com) wrote about “27 Inspiring Young Online Entrepreneurs.”  The article featured several online success stories of teens and twenty-somethings who hit the jackpot when it came to starting their Web sites. Such hobby blogs or school projects accidentally turned some of them into big businesses.

The amazing phenomenon with the Internet is that today we are seeing very young individuals becoming millionaires, and executives of top-performing companies.  Twenty years ago, maybe even ten years ago, the idea that a 15 year-old blogger would make over six figures a year might have sounded impossible.  Or perhaps that notion would have been reserved for exceptional cases of highly intelligent students, like the young Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.  Now, it seems Bill and Steve are breeding their own generation of millionaires, and they’re out-pacing the rest of us.

Just think about how much you want these young ones on your side: Young people invented the Internet.  Young people invented Google.  Young people created computers (remember Billie and Stevie?).

For the older folk, the question begs an answer: just what DO these kids have that makes them so successful?  In this article we outline a few qualities, giving you good reason to start looking at a younger pool of talent when starting your next hiring campaign.

Young people know what young people want. When Adora Svitak, a 12-year-old writer and public speaker went to a children’s publisher asking to get her stories published, they told her they didn’t deal with children.  Naturally, she thought it was strange, and that they were eliminating a large percentage of their market.  Sure enough, the child did get published, and went on to speak to educators about what adults can learn from children (you can watch her here: http://www.ted.com/talks/adora_svitak.html).  Take it from young Adora – if anyone knows what the future will buy, it will be the young.  And, young people have a lot of purchasing power, representing 25% of the marketshare of many industries.

Young people are without old concepts and bad habits. Often hiring students right out of university is a strategy used by progressive employers.  The reasoning is that they come with the skill you need them to have, but they come with fresh ideas and without pre-conceived notions or the attitude that they know it all.  They are willing to learn, and since they are so ‘raw,’ employers can shape them into the mold that they chose.

Young people come with the freshest talent. The latest in industry trends, educational theories, and new discoveries are all absorbed by this group of young people in their studies and exposure to the world.  Their training reflects the latest developments in their field, which means that they keep companies up to date.

Young people come with energy. When the City of Vancouver wanted to revive Chinatown, it followed the pattern adopted by other Chinatown revitalists in cities throughout North America: bring in young people.  Efforts were exerted to start student committees, youth festivals and anything else that would draw crowds of youth into the area.  It can be spotted from a mile away: youth brings in vitality.

Young people are adept in the latest technologies. Staying away from current technologies, especially revolving around the Internet, would be as foolish as refusing to give up a pencil and eraser for a calculator.  The world is spinning faster than ever, and today’s youth were brought up with technology at that pace, so they can keep up with it.  The cell phones, Internet, software and devices of all types are no aliens to this new workforce. They’ve been absorbing it their whole lives and they’ll get it faster than those of us who remember the days before Interac.

Further, the technology savvy young people are virtually borderless when it comes to international relations.  They know what their age-group wants, and that means they know how to communicate it to them.  They have energy, enthusiasm and drive to take organizations to new heights.  They might not be as experienced as the 50-year-old executive, but they sure are a lot of fun to have around. So, the next time you have a position to fill, especially one that involves technology, change and modernization, you may want to give those students a second look!