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Understanding Digital Natives and the Advantages of Their Generation in 2022

The workforce continues to grow with the incoming generation of millennials, who are projected to be the largest generation by 2028. Businesses capitalizing on the opportunity of this demographic are already seeing positive innovations internally and externally. 

To seize this opportunity, a fundamental understanding of how digital natives can positively affect the changing workplace is vital to attracting these game-changers to your own organization.

As we head into 2022, it’s time that your business updates its approach to work and creates an environment that attracts and appeals to digital natives. These tech-savvy young people will be CEOs, CMOs and Presidents of businesses; understanding how they work, what makes them tick and what skills they possess can make or break a business’s future in the coming years.

What is a digital Native?

Digital native is a term coined by Marc Prensky that defines the current generation of millennials, generation Z, and generation alpha who grew up surrounded by digital technology within the digital world. Typically, they’re considered anyone born after 1980, right as the use of technology started to shift drastically. 

This is a generation older than digital immigrants (born before 1980) who had to learn new technology as it emerged. Often, the generation gap between these two is called the digital divide.

Characteristics of digital natives

Being a digital native has its advantages in the workplace. Here are some of the most common shared characteristics of this new generation.

Engranded adaptability

Digital natives are young people who became adults in the digital age. They had to learn how to be scrappy, how to adapt to new technology and ultimately how to speak a digital language that didn’t exist before.

That adaptability factor is one of the biggest benefits that this age group brings to the table. It makes them more likely to innovate with alacrity in order to meet the constantly changing needs of consumers.

New approach to work

Firstly, companies should understand the top priorities of working millennials available in this demographic. According to research, top priorities for millennials include financial stability and independence, work-life balance, transparent leadership and paths to success. Just as important is the ability to make a positive global impact through their work.

These shared priorities have already begun making an impact in countless industries evident by shifting standard business workflows, processes, and corporate structures. Businesses that step up and remain open-minded to digital natives’ ideas will progress with the trends of the industry.

Increased digital literacy

Millennials have the ability to navigate the unchartered territory of future marketing techniques. They adapt to the current lay of the land skillfully and with innovative ideas on how to progress even further.

Take their experience into consideration and utilize their unique talents for tackling constant change. With this, companies can provide their audiences with the right content in the right channels. Young team members ensure your company has a finger on the pulse of current trends. 

What’s crucial to successfully reach these future workers as businesses, as well as organizations & universities, is to jump on the huge opportunity that is new digital mediums and platforms. Communicate with millennials where they’re actually looking. Appeal to their priorities so you can translate their interest to a successful, new workforce in the long run.

HOW TO ATTRACT DIGITAL NATIVES TO YOUR COMPANY

Your company is soon going to be run by digital natives—that’s a sure future on the horizon. But attracting the right ones to your team is going to be the real test. These individuals have higher expectations than previous generations when it comes to things like using technology, workplace flexibility, and business communication.

Here are a few ways businesses can build a workplace that attracts the right digital natives to the team.

Go mobile

Mobile capability is a necessity for all companies in this day and age, so don’t miss out on any aspect of the power of handheld mobile devices. 

Having an engaging profile on job search apps is key to reaching this demographic as almost 75% of Millennial click through on Indeed alone comes from mobile. When applied to universities looking for students, applicants said they were 70% more likely to attend a university if they had a functional and clean app to learn about the college.

Furthermore, businesses and universities looking for millennials to recruit, a contact within the company can be a game-changer. Having text messaging services, instant chat and a recruitment hotline as options means fewer roadblocks for answers.

Send targeted messages

Digital marketing and millennial targeted messages are the new methods of finding prospects. Unfortunately, radio, mailers, and recruitment events simply don’t have the same impact as before because you’re not speaking to the right platform. 

Especially important is the ability to create fun, engaging digital campaigns around what’s uniquely beneficial about your organization. 

This is an important part of reaching digital natives on their preferred platforms (smartphones).

Hyper-focus on social media

Digital natives are constantly engaging in social networking techniques. Sharing a digital campaign on Twitter, Snapchat & Instagram, for example – featuring top clients or successful projects with the question posed to millennials on how they have the opportunity to affect major change. Companies should appeal to their desire for change. 

Capitalizing on their new perspectives within your industry will make prospects want to take on a challenge.

Be transparent

Finally, this new generation has more experience in higher education, stronger digital wisdom and a keen intuition when it comes to marketing than the older generations. They’re naturally more suspicious, having seen older generations get duped by digital media at an early age.

That means you can’t pull the wool over their eyes with shiny objects like ping-pong tables or quarterly happy hours. 

What this generation craves more than anything else is clear lines of communication that allow them to truly process information and understand what’s happening in a business from top to bottom.

As more and more digital natives enter the workforce, pushing digital immigrants out, companies are going to have to embrace new definitions of what work means. Starting that transition now in 2022 is one of the best ways to ensure you’re ahead of the curve.

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