As CXOs work on their grand five year plans, vision documents and future proofing their Businesses, the one fundamental aspect that everyone is focused on is talent. Talent is the nerve centre around which great, scalable and agile businesses can be built. Thanks to this trend, CEOs are now turning to their Talent Leaders to help them with plans around scaling teams on demand. A challenge that most enterprises face today is the need to scale talent in real time and the need in today’s fast paced environment where business happens at the speed of thought is to be able to stretch growth like elastic.
Most firms have a defined strategy for Gen X and most are in place with their talent attraction and retention policies for Gen Y. But it’s 2016, we’re witnessing a shiny new crop of talent enter the corporate workforce called Gen Z. Generation Z also referred to as iGen, or Post-Millennials, or Plurals are the cohort of people born after the Millennials. The generation is generally defined with birth years ranging from the late 1990s through the 2010. The early iGens are just about stepping into the corporate landscape.
1. Business at The Speed of Thought: Gen Z are Fast Movers
Back in 1999, Bill Gates penned a book titled “Business at the Speed of Thought” where he discussed how business and technology are integrated, and showcased how digital infrastructures and information networks can help someone get an edge over their competition. While technology and digital infrastructure have scaled businesses, an additional challenge that business leaders have just started facing is coping at the pace of how Gen Z operates. Gen Z are the type that demand constant and immediate feedback. Instead of having a single face-to-face or phone conversation that may cover half a dozen topics over several minutes, iGens would rather communicate in spurts of shorter, but more frequent bursts of information. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have been iGens preferred hangouts vis a vis Facebook and Orkut that Gen Y are extremely comfortable with.
2. Build a Talent Attraction Strategy for the iGens
Gen Z & Gen Y – they’re very different from each other. Thus marketing, conversing and getting potential messages across to them need to differ by type, by content and by context. Gen Z are the type that communicate via images whereas the Millennials text. While Millennials tend to focus on the present, Gen Z are usually focused on the future. Millennials are optimists by nature while Gen Z are realists. These characteristics clearly showcase attributable and characteristic personality differences between the two generations signaling to the world that organizations that want to target iGens clearly need to have a talent attraction strategy that speaks their lingo and appeals to their mojo.
3. Engage with the Plurals – their way
While the Millennials are an expressive bunch and are comfortable tweeting their thoughts on Twitter, Gen Z is a much more practical and realistic lot that think deeply about privacy, campaign effectiveness and the likes, and rather than Twitter they prefer Snapchat for its Privacy features. Gen Z are master multi taskers – if you’re trying to get their attention, your messaging and campaigns need to be hyper personalized and must make meaning to them. The messages should also be short and concise and to the point – this is an era that’s living their “Not Fast & the Furious – but Fast and Meaningful.”
4. Despite being entrepreneurial, Gen Z is super focused on achieving work-life balance and job security
According to a survey by Forbes Magazine, 40%of Gen Z students around the world, cited work-life balance and a secure or stable job as their top career goals. While Gen Zers are super passionate about entrepreneurship, making meaning and creating massive impact, they show keen intent in balancing their personal life and work life. They want to have a win-win situation and possibly dream of creating sublime work-life experiences.
The sheer fact that Z is the end of the alphabets, raises the big question, what comes next? Moreover, how do organizations communicate to these three different generations? Is this possibly a marketing segmentation play requiring persona building, then triggering online and offline campaigns that grab their attention via artificial intelligence being the core helped with game changing humanized processes at different touch points of the recruiting, marketing and sales processes? Forward thinking organizations are probably already at the cusp of doing this and shortly, the world will learn from them and evolve.
This article is a part of the People Matters- Oracle Let's Talk Talent series. Click here to visit the Let's talk talent page to read more such articles.