This Week in Talent (22nd September)

Decrypting Gen Alpha

“ Tech native” Gen Alpha is the inevitable future of the workforce. #genalpha

I found myself eyes glued to my screen, madly scrolling this past week, topics related to understanding these ‘teens’ of today. I was trying to wrap my head around why they need to be on devices 24/ 7, and as a mother of a 10-year-old daughter, who currently does not have devices, do I need to introduce her to the vortex and if so, what’s the benefit. It got me thinking about the impact of #socialmedia and what this means for Gen Alpha and their future workplace expectations. And the experiences People and Culture leaders will build for them. #futureofwork

Lets start with who is Generation Alpha? There is  X,Y, Z and then comes Gen Alpha, including children born in or after 2010 – ironically the same year the iPad was born. The Greek Alphabet was chosen along with the first letter, “Alpha”, to mark the start of a new era. Most of Gen Alpha are 12 years of age however the oldest of them become teens this year. What caught me off guard in my findings is that members of this budding generation will become economically active in our workforces within the next 5 years. Are we ready for that?

I have so many questions, I need to de-code on this topic.

First I will start with a fun fact to set the scene – Over 2.6 Million members of Gen Alpha are born every single week. By the end of this generational period in 2025, there will be a whopping 2 billion of them: estimated to surpass Generation Z’s size: making them the (newest) largest generation in all of human history.

  • How will Generation Alpha impact the world of work come 2034?
  • When they start to hit the workforce in their 20’s ?
  • What will their expectations be ?
  • What recruitment and employee experience will they help shape on their way through?
  • Will employee value proposition even cut the mustard?  #employeevalueproposition
  • Should we be co-creating together with them now ?
  • Will your current recruitment processes suit the needs of Generation Alpha? #talentacquistion
  • How much will you need to change to accommodate them? 

Even more than Gen Z, Gen Alpha is a tech-savvy age group that will have high expectations for the technology used not just in the workplace, but as part of the recruitment process too.

 I am on a newfound mission to inspire conversation and consideration of this generation before they transition into your candidates and colleagues. #canddiates #workforce

Generation Alpha are being shaped by a number of prominent factors such as the pandemic, the sociopolitical landscape, education and social media. Because of this they will be entering the workforce with unique views and needs and we will need to accommodate this if we want successful hires and happy employees.

A few resources below, that I clicked on to learn more about Generation Alpha as well as some of the things that will shape them into the adults, peers, influencers, bosses, and leaders they will become in the future. I have also included a few go references to get more advanced with your TA strategy. Looking at topics such as what job roles will look like in 10 years, modernising your recruitment process, and what will come into play for organisations and their recruiters.

The negative impacts on Gen Alphas aligned to social media is well documented, but I am not too sure yet how to support combat this. However, the positive side is that with so much information at hand, many children and teenagers demonstrate higher levels of engagement than previous generations that we can use this to our advantage in the future workplace.

9 things I now know about Gen Alpha :

  1. This generation will primarily shop online and have less human contact than previous generations.
  2. They will be interested in your policies in regard to mental health – there will be clear psychological challenges with this generation as they will feel more alone, despite being so connected.
  3. Remote working will be a must for a nice to have, the relationship will be built and maintained remotely, it is preferred.
  4. Generation Alpha will be the most diverse in human history.
  5. Gen Alpha will drive an increased focus on neurodiversity in the workplace.
  6. Tech has hurt their soft skills – like communicating in person.
  7. Most connected generations yet spend much less time talking to their peers in person.
  8. Expectations around employee experiences are high, this might mean the way we recruit will be different from the way we do today.
  9. They will desire to work at innovative world-changing companies

It then got me thinking, is it a chance to look at our own tech capability– for example the way we book interviews, we should never need to do it manually again. Paradox is introducing their latest FREE solution – Olivia for Recruiters Chrome extension. Olivia will sync with calendars, and automatically schedule any interviews – Find out more here. More of these tools will support our resigning TA to meet the needs of new generations.

How we recruit Generation Alpha will be different to how we recruit gen X,Y, Z now. Gen Alpha will be techsavvy and collaborative, but their relationship with remote work, technology, and social media will add new complexities to TA and HR functions that must be considered by and accounted for in recruitment strategies.

Let’s get in front of this together now, to shape your TA Strategy now. I would love to bring together a focus group of TA people to join Novak this more, if you are interested, let me know. 

Until next week…De ( Gen Y )

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