As the first generation to have never experienced a world without the internet, today’s young people hold a different attitude towards technology, both in their personal lives and their expectations in the workplace. Known as the App Generation, these so-called “digital natives” have grown up with an always-on mentality, constantly switching between a variety of connected devices, instant web services and mobile applications.
The App Generation is about to enter the workforce, but is your business prepared to meet the new expectations and working styles of the young, tech-savvy employee? Recent research from Fuze found the App Generation wants to work in a very different way to today’s workforce, demanding not only the latest technologies but also craving collaborative and flexible working environments.
As employers fight to attract new talent, HR teams and recruiting teams must consider new ways of attracting the best of the next generation.
Here are four steps to get started:
1. Switch up the recruitment process – Today’s teenagers are confident in what they want to do and where they want to go. It’s important for businesses to convey how tech-savvy, modern and flexible they are from the outset. This can be demonstrated by simply changing how applicants respond to job descriptions or the way job interviews are conducted, for instance over video or chat applications instead of over the phone.
2. Use technology as a selling point – When it comes to communication, today’s teenagers are all about mobile messaging, video calls and social media. As such, businesses should work with their IT departments to implement technology that meets these expectations and attracts young talent, but also empowers the existing workforce. It’s an approach that will not only make businesses more attractive for future prospects, but will also help to retain existing talent.
3. Embrace a culture change – For the App Generation, flexible working is the norm. Whether through collaborative studying, or seeing their parents increasingly work from home, today’s teenagers have come to expect flexibility in all aspects of their daily lives. By putting in place the policies and technologies that allow employees to work flexibly, employers stand a much better chance of attracting and retaining the next generation of workers.
4. Create spaces that promote fresh thinking and brilliant ideas – The App Generation thrives on working in inspiring and creative environments. Therefore, businesses should create spaces that promote fresh thinking and brilliant ideas, where casual meetings and serendipitous interactions can happen at any time. This could include soft seating next to all desks, brainstorm areas, standing desks, or simply include spaces where employees can sit, talk and openly share their ideas.
It’s all about finding the right balance between keeping the current workforce satisfied and providing the necessary processes and policies to attract the App Generation. Training, up-to-date technology and flexibility will make your business a more attractive prospect for the talent of the present as well as the future.
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