Millennials and technology: How to use IT to appeal to a younger demographic
Generally speaking, millennials and technology get bad press. They are viewed as a moody bunch who are permanently staring at small screens. It is an undeserved critique. The skills this generation of digital natives use every day can easily be translated to the world of work.
Thinking with a technology hat on can come as truly second nature to millennials – those who are people born between 1979 and 1994. They have grown up in an increasingly digital world, where the internet is commonplace and their lives can be organised from the palm of their hand.
Employers can reap the benefits of opening up their eyes to how millennials and technology can go together with transferable skills to bring to the office. And, we’re not talking about someone knowing how to use social media professionally because they post things on their own Instagram.
Here’s what to consider to not only attract but retain millennials and technology skills which could breathe life into your company.
Bring your own device
A huge 92% of millennials own smartphones, compared to 85% of Generation X, which are people between the ages of 38 and 53 years old. When many of your team members are likely to have their own up-to-date technology at their fingertips, it makes economic sense to have a Bring Your Own Device policy.
This is not only a potentially cost cutting strategy but it could introduce your teams to apps, new ways of working and the latest gadgets which could have slipped under the radar otherwise.
However, don’t let your cyber security standards slip. This has been cited as one of the main reasons some companies resist employing a BYOD policy. It needn’t be a barrier though if you consider:
- Clear guidelines on how to store sensitive company data on personal devices.
- Steps to prevent cyber attacks or an infection from malware.
- A process for when an employee leaves so they don’t take company data with them.
- How to safely use public WiFi to prevent unauthorised access to company information.
- Keeping data secure, particularly following the introduction of GDPR.
Safe and secure
The threat of cyber security should not be underestimated. This is particularly important when millennials and technology are seen as a target by cyber criminals. They may be digital natives but research has also shown that millennials are globally the most affected victims by cyber crime, with 40% experiencing it in the last year. The reasons for this are poor password security, regular use of public WiFi and exposing themselves to risk. For example, 43% of those surveyed said that they would happily download a third-party app, which are notorious for bugs. Educate your staff on how to keep safe online, particularly when company information and data is involved. Carry out in-house training or outsource cyber security to an IT consultant. This will minimise the risk of any unwanted incidents from occurring by keeping your technology as watertight as possible.
Be open to ideas
Company growth can so often rest on innovation. In theory, this should be obvious. In practice, it can be hard to bring in change which shakes up how things have been done in the past. However, British businesses are evolving with the help of technology. In fact, 63% of UK businesses expect digitisation to boost customer satisfaction. You do not want your company to get left behind and run the risk of losing employees as well as customers and clients because of it.
A digital transformation can have a hugely positive impact on your business – a survey found that over half of those asked thought digital disruption was a good thing. Millennials and technology can help to make this happen for your business. Encourage them to share ideas. Have regular brainstorming sessions. Listen to them on an ad-hoc basis too. Something which is ordinary to a tech-savvy 20-something could be extraordinary for your business. Concerns over impact on workload or disruptive installations should not be a barrier to implementing something new, either. IT can be outsourced to the experts to look at both implementation as well as ongoing maintenance and support.
Retain top talent
Millennials and technology is not the only perk of recruiting a younger workforce for your company. There has been a huge boom in the popularity of flexible and remote working in recent years to encourage a positive work-life balance. A recent survey from Timewise found that 92% of workers between 18-34 years old want to work flexibly or already have the ability to do so. Make your company attractive by offering flexible working as default rather than an add-on. The technology exists to make this happen easily with cloud technology and various software options making work an activity rather than a location for the modern and dynamic workforce. Just keep everything safe and secure, such as with the Government endorsed Cyber Essentials certification, and it’s a worry-free business move.
This is where the friendly and knowledgeable team at Link IT can help. We can look after everything from IT consultancy to a fully managed IT function. Contact us to find out more.