Friday, January 9, 2009

Net Gen: Next Generation Employees

What Will Our Next Generation of Employees be Like?

What can we expect from our next generation of employees, raised on the Internets -- with the MyFaces and Spacebooks....err, Myspaces and Facebooks?

Some predict that thousands of hours of Internet and video game action will result in an employment pool with Attention Deficit Disorder syndromes, and an unfulfilled need for instant gratification.

They may know how to burn a CD and use their phones to create awesome video, but they are also viewed by some to be:

1. Unread in classic education

2. Poor communicators

3. Socially inept

4. Brash and shameless

5. Dishonest

6. Afraid to do "real work"

7. Self-centered

8. Unconcerned about the welfare of others

Not exactly a dream list of qualities one might seek when hiring.

But wait, there's more!

In his book, "Grown Up Digital", Don Tapscott points out the fallacies of the above perceptions.

Tapscott says "Net Gen" has many redeeming qualities, and in fact, may be experiencing a revolution that is missed by the befuddled members of the Boomer Generation. (such as myself!) For the past two years, Tapscott has directed a stidy of over 8,000 participants in twelve countries, and concludes that the first fully digital generation is actuallysmart, entertaining, optimistic, engaged, and transformational multi-taskers able to process incredble amounts of information faster than previous generations.

The study also outlines eight norms that define the Next Geners. These include:

1. Valuing freedom and choice in everything they do

2. A love of customization and personalization

3. A tendency to scrutinise everything

4. An expectation of integrity and openness, including about where to work

5. A desire for entertainment and play in their work and education, and in their social life

6. A love of collaboration

7. An expectation of speed - everything needs to happen fast

8. Demanding constant innovation.

Doesn't that sound like a much more enticing list of qualities to choose potential employees from?

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