Generation Z may have been born with a smartphone in its hand and Wi-Fi at home, but to hire this new generation you’ll have to employ more than just the latest technology
The U.S. labor market continues to tighten and competition between companies to attract the best and the brightest to their organizations is heating up. However, what is becoming increasingly clear about those born after 1996 is that traditional approaches to hiring and retaining talent no longer apply.
“The customer experience begins with the employee experience. If you want to make a meaningful connection with a customer, you need to be where that person is at the moment they need you. And the same is true of your potential employees – you have to be where they are,” begins Jim Flynn, Chief Human Resources Officer for Sitel Group. “This is why we completely reimagined our approach to the recruitment process to ensure we are always aligned with the people we want to attract.”
Over the past two years, as part of a wider transformation, Sitel Group has built a number of social media hubs around the world packed with multimedia content and insights, including from our current employees – they are connecting with generation Z on their terms, in their vocabulary and on their channels of choice.
“Increasing our presence on social channels is just one element of a much wider recruitment transformation – a transformation that was triggered by asking the question, “What can we do to engage with the next generation and give them everything they need so they want to meet their potential at our organization?’” explains Flynn.
Therefore, just as with an optimized customer journey, friction has been removed from the recruitment path. A candidate can complete the entire application process via a smartphone, and he or she can even post a video in lieu of attending a face-to-face interview in some cases. Likewise, the administration has been streamlined so that applicants need only wait days, rather than weeks to hear if they’ve been successful.
“Generation Z is the most tech-savvy generation in history. However, it’s also a generation that needs security and certainty when it comes to employment,” says Flynn. “This is why we built an award-winning MOOC that lets applicants learn about and train for a potential role at Sitel before the application process begins.”
The online course removes any anxieties a person may have about whether or not they can do the job in question. It increases their confidence which in turn results in a better interview process and greater clarity about what to expect at each stage of the process from application to onboarding.
Once at the company, this leveraging of digital technology continues with onboarding and professional development modules accessible via smartphone or other mobile devices – meaning a new recruit is never more than one or two taps and swipes away from the answer to an organizational question or for planning the first steps on their career path.
“But technology can only be part of the equation,” warns Flynn. “It won’t change your organization’s business culture or bring it into line with generational expectations.”
As well as being the best educated, Generation Z is also the most socially and environmentally engaged generation in history. Therefore, organizations that can demonstrate, rather than simply pay lip service to, a strong commitment to corporate and social responsibility are going to win the talent war.
“Your organization needs a strong set of values and it needs to prove it lives by them,” states Flynn. “This is only possible when everyone from the board to our contact centers are equally invested. It won’t take long for a new recruit to realize that the perception and the reality are not aligned.”
Sitel Group is committed to giving back and ensuring diversity and equality of opportunity. We commit to this by giving our people their own public platform for sharing their own experiences at the organization. “It’s called ‘Empowered voices’ and it allows our associates from around the globe to tell their own Sitel story, in their own words and in their own time,” Flynn explains. “People can post text or videos and they’re shared across our social channels as well as on a dedicated website supporting five different languages.”
For over 30 years Sitel Group has been meeting its customers’ expectations because it has continually invested in and supported its people. A commitment to delivering a differentiated customer experience is only possible when there is an equal commitment to creating an organization and a culture that attracts, nurtures and retains talent and that continues to develop and evolve in line with generational change.