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Future employees could be 'entrepreneurial, but lack communication skills'

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Research comparing school children to current employees shows that the workforce of tomorrow is likely to be more assertive, but potentially harder to manage.

The study, carried out by psychometric testing company Thomas International, profiled 1,695 school-aged children and compared the results with 91,044 adults in employment. 

The most notable trend was a 22% reduction in children with high influencing skills. These people are commonly defined as good verbal communicators and comfortable working with others.

Suchi Pathak, head of psychology for Thomas International, says this is most likely down to the prominence of instant messaging forums such as WhatsApp reducing the time children spend talking in person. 

The fall in these "people, people" in business will be balanced by a rise in people who scored highly on dominance and entrepreneurial spirit.

Thomas International CEO Martin Reed told HR magazine these people will be an asset for organisations, but their personalities will throw up challenges for managers and HR departments. 

"The dominance trait means people will be confident in their own ability. They will often be more prepared to work under their own stea," he said. "These people can be aggressive in business though and also quite introverted. This means potentially managers will have to adapt their management style to deal with them." 

Reed added that people with high dominance traits may struggle to work within narrow boundaries, so may struggle in entry level jobs that involve repetitive or low-skilled work.