We Went Digital

Let’s admit it. We are all hooked. Some of us are downright addicts.

No one seems to be able to pick up a good restaurant without asking advice from an app, laptops are always on our laps, vacations are never without work, long forgotten friends are a click away and we whatsapp our customers. According to Ericson’s Consumer Lab report, a typical white collar worker spends %20 of his time on business apps. Add to that the time spent on social networking sites and shopping, you will get a full day of app happiness. As if that is not enough, 43% of the working population downloads a new app every week. It does not get better at home, either. On average, the time spent on digital will reach a staggering 5,3 hours per day excluding work activities.

Generation Z Is Upon Us

That is just us; the current workforce. Now think about the next generation. The Generation Z. The Millenials. People call them Gen Tech, Gen Net, Gen Wii; Digital Natives. They were born into the digital world. In fact, they are the first generation whose births were announced on the internet. They never knew a time before the computers, www or apps. And now, they are on their way to the job market. Within 2-4 years a huge demographic shift will change the talent landscape forever. In US alone there are 67 million Generation Z members, born after 1998, making them almost as large as the baby boomers who have retired or retiring.

GenZs play, socialize, learn, engage, compete, succeed, fail, laugh, share in the digital universe. There is no divide, there are no boundaries between self and the digital. Life is digital and mobile, all the time. By the time Dad pours porridge for breakfast before the school bus arrives, his teen daughter would have looked at her mobile phone 5 times already. Teens today spend 27 hours a week online.

Not only that, they view the world differently too. Many of the old-world assumptions and methods don’t sway or impress their young and boundless minds. Better educated generations demand better things from the society and companies. Nearly three quarters of those surveyed (74%) agreed that businesses have a responsibility to create a better world.

Talent Acquisition Must Change

Understanding, attracting, and engaging the next generation of talent will require genuine new approaches, new methods and tools, almost all digital. The HR field has made some headways into social media hiring but that is just the beginning. Talent acquisition process as a whole needs to change radically to accommodate the new generation and their digital habits. The days of the printed CVs, tedious application screens, long on-site personal interviews are numbered.

The companies who embrace the digital challenge early on are already reaping incredible advantages over their competition in talent attraction, branding, engagement, and retention. They are utilising games, social media widgets, chat bots, video interviews, online tests, and smart onboarding tools with great effect. It saves time, it is cheaper and provides a much better experience for the young talent for sure.

Start Now To Get Ahead

Finding the right digital tools, integration of processes and developing new work practices takes time. It takes trial and error and some getting used to. But given the cost pressures and the demographics, this is a challenge all HR leaders have to face sooner rather than later. The pioneers of the new generation are already in the job market today.

So why wait? Let’s start planning for the transformation and plunge into the world of digital HR. Now, not later.

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