Hiring New Employees - How Does A Digital Native Think?
Today we have some thoughts from our marketing intern Jenna Lamb about what businesses can expect when hiring the next generation of workers – passionate, hard-working young people who are ready to work and know how to get the most out of today’s technologies because they are digital natives.
As a soon-to-be college graduate, the thought of having a real job within a few months is both extremely terrifying and really exciting. I’m definitely more than ready to be done writing twenty page book reports, having surprise quizzes, and relocating to the library basement during the finals week at TCU. But, at the same time, it makes me super nervous to think I’ll soon be working with people who have more years’ work experience than I have been alive. Regardless of my reluctance, I’m very excited to graduate and start the next chapter of my life – entering the work world.
My generation – Generation Y – does everything differently than the generations before us. I honestly use technology and the Internet for every aspect of my daily life. I can’t even begin to comprehend how people kept up with the latest headlines, communicated with others, or even maintained their sanity without technology! From my perspective, the “pre-Internet era” might as well be considered the prehistoric era, as I would be equally lost in both. As a business owner, you need to understand how to reach and do business with my generation. So when looking to hire recent college graduates here are some things that you should know about us:
- 1. We’re always connected
I’m always – and I do mean always – connected and available to the world around me. The Internet and wireless capabilities are such an integrated part of my life that if I somehow forget my Blackberry at my house, or my netbook battery dies in the middle of a class, I’ll definitely go into instant panic mode. I might as well be on a desert island. My multi-tech/multi-tasking lifestyle has become the norm for all of my friends and basically all people my age. So, if you try to tell us you have rules about text messaging or that you ban social media websites, we’ll think you’re joking.
- 2. We need guidance
Growing up I had scheduled practices for everything imaginable. Throughout high school I took private tennis lessons three times a week, went to French tutoring, had cheerleading practice, and took an SAT prep class….and this was all before school even started in the mornings. My generation is used to being taught how to succeed by doing things the ‘right’ way. So, when we start a new job we’ll need clear directions and feedback at the same level of coaching we have come to expect throughout our lives.
- 3. We hate “fluff”
There is nothing I hate more than wasting my precious time on something pointless. Having endless amounts of available on-demand information has made our golden rule quality over quantity. We’ve become masters at scanning and filtering out what’s relevant and what’s not. I want all information prepared and presented in the quickest and most efficient way possible through: PowerPoint presentations, bullet points, hyperlinks, and summaries.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if I’m extremely excited or scared out of my mind to graduate and get a ‘real’ job – it’s happening. My generation represents the emerging demographic that is the new way of doing business. So please realize that we do things differently and embrace the change!