A new wave of college graduates is hitting the job market—and thus, a new generation. Tech-savvy Generation Z graduates could be a boon to both public and private sector organizations as they look to fill existing technical skills gaps—with one caveat. Hiring organizations must be willing and ready to help these new hires build weak communication skills. A video collaboration solution can help.
Accenture Strategy surveyed the Class of 2017, and found that nearly three-quarters of the first crop of Generation Z graduates (people born between 1993 and 1999) have taken digital, coding, or computer science-related courses in college. This is promising for IT organizations facing a skills shortage that, if left unaddressed, presents a significant risk to their organizational goals.
But, as hiring managers well know, it’s not all about having the right technical skills. “Communication is critical in technical jobs. As tech becomes increasingly integrated into all aspects of business, but is only understood by a fraction of the workforce, it’s important that technical workers are able to communicate well. They need to be able to understand client and business needs, translate those needs into production, and articulate results,” writes Jessica A. Mitsch for InfoWorld.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly where Gen Z graduates are lacking. Of those surveyed, 50% admit that they need to improve their communications skills to be more attractive to an employer. The good news is, you won’t find these new hires defaulting to email or web tools to avoid direct communications. At 42%, face-to-face is their preferred way to interact with colleagues, which means this new workforce is ripe for building communication skills.
The report states, “Having grown up in an age where technology is pervasive, new grads swim well in digital waters, but at the same time they understand the importance and value of the human touch in a world of robotics and artificial intelligence.”
Video conferencing technology hits all the right notes for Gen Z. One of the best ways to improve communication skills is to communicate more often. Video enables new hires to have the face-to-face meetings they crave regardless of where they—or their colleagues—are located. As a result, they can practice their communication skills more often and do so within a digital comfort zone.
It’s also worth noting that, like Millennials, Gen Z seeks work-life balance and mentoring from their employers. A video collaboration solution can make it easier for new hires and their managers to stay in touch, and get the mentoring they need without sacrificing work-life balance. At the touch of a button colleagues can converse and share content as if they are sitting in the same room.
To attract Gen Z candidates, Accenture Strategy advises organizations to “digitize recruiting” and to “Disrupt recruiting norms by using technology to reach new talent pools at low cost.”
Video collaboration technology can help here, too. With 75% of new graduates willing to relocate to another state for a job offer, it’s worth expanding your talent search beyond state lines. Conducting at least the first round of interviews via video will save you time and money as you narrow down your candidate pool.
Finally, one more piece of good news: Helping your tech-savvy Gen Z hires build communication skills will pay off. According to Accenture Strategy, “Companies that reward graduates’ practicality with a personalized, challenging employee experience that takes full advantage of their college degrees will reap the benefits. Those graduates are 2.5 times more likely to commit to their employer for five plus years.”