As many of you prepare to hire summer interns, you may find yourself considering hiring from iGen – the next generation after the Millennials. These new kids on the block, born around the turn of the millennium, are teenagers now and are poised to make a major impact in the workplace.
Here are some takeaways from a recent research study on things to consider when adding an iGen to your firm.
- Sourcing – Campus visits and social media continue to be useful ways to locate and connect with this group of candidates. They Prefer Vine, Instagram, and Twitter over Facebook. They have also seen their older peers in Gen Y make mistakes by posting inappropriate items online, and as such they are much more protective of their brand and online privacy (which is one of the reasons Facebook is lower on their priority list).
- Screening – This group is used to being able to find information and answers quickly via various technological platforms. So instead of having them memorize facts and answer questions via a traditional test, give them exercises to determine if they can locate the appropriate resources and use them to solve the client(s) and/or firm(s) challenge in a timely manner. What is most important here is how they approach solving the problem, how quickly they solve it, and ultimately whether they can solve it! Rote memorization and regurgitation type exercises are not the best measures of a candidate’s capabilities.
- Integrating – The use of smartphones by iGen is even more prevalent than prior generations (hard to imagine sometimes, I know!). Some even said it was okay to use phones during a job interview! Review your policies and procedures surrounding technology, mainly phone and tablet for personal use, to ensure it continues to align with your philosophies and the changing demographics of today’s workforce. It is worth noting that only 6% of the respondents from iGen thought it was appropriate to talk, text, and surf the Web during business hours, as compared to 18% of Millennials. In other words, they’re more connected to technology, but they may actually be better at respecting its boundaries than the Millennials were.
- Retaining – The iGen needs a technology-centric culture and continuous learning environment, which is not all that dissimilar than Millennials. However, they are concerned more about online privacy than the Millennials. To a larger degree than Millennials, social media determines their personal and professional satisfaction. They also could turn out to be more entrepreneurial, as they have witnessed the overnight successes of startups on social media, and strive for something similar in their own lives/careers.
It might not be time to take the picture of the lighthouse or beach-strolling couple down just yet, but going forward if you cannot communicate in five or fewer words and/or with a large picture, it will be difficult to attract and retain this generation. As the war for talent tightens, the firms targeting younger workers and building out robust internship programs to develop their human capital portfolio pipeline and become the “top of mind firm” in this group’s mind, will be best positioned for success.
For further information on iGen and to get a head start on learning what they can do for you and your firm. Check out this TEDx talk with generational expert Jason Dorsey http://bit.ly/IGenExpertJasonDorsey