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BW Businessworld

Gen Z’s Campus To Companies In Disruptive Digitisation

The process of campus hiring has absolutely taken a new shape resulting in various challenges and advantages. Around 90 per cent of millennials and Gen-Z do not want to return to full-time office work post-pandemic. HR leaders’ perspective on how the companies would address the issues of Gen Z as they enter the workforce post the recent unprecedented global event

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Compared to previous generations, the most significant and life-changing event, the Covid pandemic has introduced unconventional challenges for Generation Z across the globe. From a survey of 9,000 Generation Z, the main concerns for the future were the lack of job security, their well-being and the global economy. With the accelerated digitisation in the last two years, along with other crucial functions of the organisation, the recruitment process also had to shift to digital mediums instead of college fairs and campus events. Amid the panic of unemployment and lay-offs, only one-third out of 13000 students of India confirmed that they have a job offer at hand. 

As Batch of 2020 was graduating, there has been plenty of news of mass furloughs, pay deduction, job losses and unemployment had started coming in due to the unrest of the pandemic and economic slowdown across the globe. 

Campus to Corporate Via Virtual Onboarding

It is no secret that the traditional hiring process has been majorly replaced by virtual or digital onboarding with a large portion of the world practising remote working. However, the switch to virtual recruitments has its share of advantages. 

Discussing the pros, Shailesh Singh, Director and Chief People Officer, Max Life Insurance said, “Hiring candidates from campuses virtually bring many benefits like a quick turnaround in the hiring process, and the ease of managing and cherry-picking from a diverse pool of candidates.” Adding on the same lines, Max Life’s Singh states, “However, the lack of depth in engagement with students and the institutions, along with the inability to pick on personality cues while evaluating are some disadvantages that are faced in the processes.” 

While many students are enjoying the perks of digitisation at the comfort of their homes, on the counter side, some students are unable to reach the same opportunities. “Virtual campus hiring has put a section of students away from the entire process as they are unaware of the intricacies of the digital environment. This needs to be addressed and recruiters need to look into these untapped graduates,” Ashish Fernando, Founder and CEO, iSchoolConnect points out. Technology-led assessments are helping talent acquisition teams swiftly hire the right talent. 

Adding on the same lines, Sujatha Kumaraswamy, CEO, MeritTrac Services, a UNext company mentions, "Technology has offered us cutting-edge screening and digital assessment tools, companies can have a centralised source for talent management, reduce overhead costs, and drive transformational change for their organisation.” According to the survey, 90 per cent of respondents have no interest in returning to office work full time. More than half prefer a hybrid working model where they can work from home most or all of the time, while 18% want a hybrid model where they work from the office more. Addressing the varied demands of the workforce, HR professionals would require to rethink and build a newer company’s culture.

Generation Z Experiencing Hybrid Work Model 

In fact, according to a survey conducted by Pearson of 6,000 college students, 80 per cent of college students say their generation has become more resilient because of the adversity they faced during the pandemic. HRs are witnessing a new pattern of behaviour and unique attributes from the newest joiners. For them, diversity, equity, and inclusion are the watchwords. That is the reason 21 companies became a unicorn in 2021. Resources today are driven, hungry for recognition, eager to earn more, no matter the cost.

Industries such as healthcare, finance, and education are hiring substantially to meet the increased demand. According to LinkedIn's recent 'Jobs on the Rise' report, hiring for tech jobs, e-commerce workers, healthcare professionals, workspace diversity experts, and mental health specialists is on the rise. “It will be interesting to see how businesses adapt to the changing requirements of the new normal and build effective hiring strategies to onboard the finest talent from campuses,” Ashish Fernando, Founder and CEO, iSchoolConnect adds.

Companies will need to understand and address these fundamental needs to attract and retain Gen Z workers. Suggesting the new-age strategies to talent acquisition leaders, Vishal Pratapwant, Head, Engineering and Transformation, Fiserv Global Services said, “Strategically curated training programs can help young talent learn key skills while employee resource groups can help them connect with others and build company culture. Exposing these fresh graduates to customized business-specific training, autonomous learning, mentoring from leadership and rhythmic performance evaluations helps give them a sense of belonging.” 

Looking To The Future – What Gen Z Wants?

Gone are the days where companies used to relook at their hiring strategies every 10 years, companies are expected to build real conversations and action-oriented plans around work-life integration, employee wellness, economic security and individual carrier growth and more. 

As witnessed for centuries that there are of course positive but also challenging characteristics of any generation. Generation Z tends to be smart, creative and entrepreneurial. Generation Z prefers peer-to-peer learning, they tend to be reluctant to put in the hard work but prefer things sharp and short. Also, Generation Z struggles to comprehend hierarchy, instead, they believe in meritocratic progression. HRs may confront a major issue amongst Gen Z is that they want progression quickly. These are the highlighted areas to determine the nature of the newest generation entering into the workforce, business and people leaders are required to bring about a mindset and behavioural shift in order to reach the best.