Talent has no age. Talent has no passport. Talent has no gender; but opportunity has all three. Indeed, it is people that are the world's greatest untapped resource.
Digital Natives – The new way to engage Gen Y
All around the world there are billions of unpolished diamonds - those people out there with raw talent but lacking the soft skills and educational polishing that many of us have been so lucky to have received. The greatest businesses and governments of the Twenty-First century will be those that can develop scalable solutions to polish these 'rough diamonds'
The development and recruitment of youth has been and continues to be one of the greatest business challenges. This blog aims to explore how the model to engage youth and the associated access to the right skills and talent has changed with technological developments.
Gen Y is unique. Born between 1980 & 2000 they've seen more change growing up than any generation in history. They are a generation defined by change. This hunger for change is both their strongest characteristic and biggest challenge for their employer. Studies show that this generation will have significantly more employers than any previous generations. The US Department of Labor expects this generation to have an average of 14 jobs before their 38th birthday. Importantly Gen Y is loyal to its skill rather than its employer. The days of the job for life are long gone. McKinsey’s war for talent is alive and well, despite the global downturn. Gen Yers are becoming job consumers, they need to be sold to and convinced of the right match.
For the first time in history, the youngest generation to enter the workforce are an authority on something that actually matters. We (I was born in 1984) are the authority on the internet, social media and new forms of collaboration. These innovations are being created by young minds and these tools are now driving the greatest change in industry. This gives young people a new power and influence in the workplace. Never before have the youngest people in the workplace understood something that is business critical better than the management team.
We are living in times of exponential change. Consider for a moment the change that industry has seen over the last 20 years. It could be argued that the last 20 years saw more change than the 200 years before it. My question is: Could the same be said of the education system? I would argue that the formal education system is broken and out of date. While industry innovation has developed exponentially; education innovation has largely flat lined. The graph below demonstrates this and how the gap being created is the ever growing 'skills gap'.
Everything starts and ends with education. In the words of the great Nelson Mandela: “If you wish to make an impact for one year, plant corn; if wish to make an impact for a generation, plant a tree; if you wish to make an impact for eternity, educate a child.”
The education system as we now recognise it has its roots in the industrial revolution. I believe the economy has moved into a new paradigm as significant as the last change from an agrarian economy to the industrial age.
The age we currently live in is what I would term ‘The Digital Enlightenment’. We have moved into the networked economy. The education system needs to make a similar transition. In fact, according to UNESCO the next 30 years will see more people go through formal education than in combined history of the Modern Age.
I believe that there is a close connection between education and recruitment. The very act of searching talent, revolves around assessing someone’s education, and the skills they have gained in their experience thus far. The biggest bottleneck in the growth of any economy is access to the right skills and talent. In order to ensure that supply of talent meets demand of talent, we must look beyond the formal education system. We must begin to look at those best placed to deliver scalable education for the 21st Century. I believe that it is the social media industry that is best placed to deliver this, as it is companies that is driving forward innovation.
To conclude, In the near future, I have a desire to see employers taking an active role in participating with training and encouraging the development of youth. One example being, the Microsoft BizSpark programme that I previously enrolled in to access the right tools, resources and training to help support the growth of our tech start-up. Gen Y is unique and need a new management approach. For business, this will add value to their social responsibility credentials, engagement marketing and, of course, their need to recruit the best talent.
For further insight from Lucian please see: www.bravenewtalent.com and www.luciantarnowski.com/
Education and career resources for young people can be found here.
For access to the BizSpark programme for start-ups, click here.