The rising tide of digital nativism is fundamentally changing the nature of tech recruitment across the world. However, that nativism somewhat follows demographic lines – younger workers and entrants to the workforce over the last 5 to 10 years have grown up living within the interconnectedness of the internet.
This digital nativism has changed everything – from the way younger people interact and socialise, how they date, work, learn, network and shop, all of it has been coloured by, and continues to be influenced by, online existence. This generation – digitally intelligent, interconnected yet decentralised – are the future, and the work employers do now to engage, develop and teach them will go a long way in establishing a digitally-reliant social and working “candidate map” of the future.
Tech employers, innovators and enterprises are rightly focusing their post-pandemic hiring efforts on grabbing the attention, and onboarding at pace, those younger workers to bolster their ranks.
Shortages in critical tech roles abound; industries desperate for talent and ideas need new blood to both sustain existing business and see in a much more digitally-oriented future. And, as sustainability and circular economic practices come into play (especially in tech manufacturing and industry where the requirement for more elements, minerals and labour will only increase as we move more digital), those younger workers will benefit most, and the longest, from these shifts in tech attitudes.
But forget other age groups at your peril.
Employers need to be aware that we cannot secure a more environmentally equitable future without focusing on reskilling our older workers.
With this changing nature of work comes a redrawing of effective labour use – the practices, laws, development support, salaries and development of traditional forms of education into career paths may not fit a digitally transformed future.
Employers need to prepare the ground for how they attract and develop younger workers while simultaneously supporting reskilling of talent already working. In fact, this needs to happen now.
● Some key facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) embellish this point: in April of 2021, 9.3 million vacancies were live in the USA, and the unemployment rate was…9.3 million. This is down to lack of skills investment and applicability, amongst many other reasons.
● In a WHO report, one-quarter of adults “reported a mismatch between their current skill sets and the qualifications required to do their jobs.”
So workers need to be retrained, skills need to be developed and our path to digital transformation requires we do this rapidly.
So where are the demographic differences in our growing professional tech workforce most profound?
● Attitudes to Work and Culture Fit
○ Employers need to build bespoke hiring strategies to better attract workers at different stages in their careers.
● Digital Natives
○ Part of that is understanding the difference in expectations between digital natives and the rest of the workforce.
● Portfolio Workers
○ A strong example of this is younger workers both expecting, and wanting, portfolio careers.
● The Commitment to Reskilling
○ Employers then have to invest in reskilling – both the demand and necessity is there. It comes, now, down to will power to act!