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2009-06-02 17:22:53

Gen Web: What Today’s New Generational Group Means For Business


We’ve all heard about Gen X, Gen Y, Boomers, etc. and each of these generations have certain characteristics that “bond” them together with the most obvious one being age. Today a new generation has evolved that has nothing to do with age. We'll refer to the newest Generation as Generation Web or “Gen Web” as its members is bonded together by a single factor - Technology.

Everyone talks of baby boomers retiring and the future shortage of qualified workers in the labor market. Well in almost all cases it’s the new “Gen Webbers” that will fill this gap, regardless of their age. Given the current economic condition, workers from all generations that join Gen Web will be asked to fill tomorrow’s jobs. Fortunately the time it takes to be part of Gen Web can be relatively short, as today the majority of jobs are becoming more and more dependent on technology.

This trend will only continue, and in fact, accelerate faster in the near future. As a simple example for boomers - remember when you first used a computer, laptop or cell phone - for the younger generation, remember when you first began to text message or use MySpace. Technology weaves us all together, especially when it comes to recruiting and business.

So what are the implications of this for business? The need for this new generation in the workplace will force businesses to change many of their HR practices. The ways in which companies recruit, hire people, train and develop their employees, and manage them on the job will take on a very different look versus today (yes even today.)

We’re already seeing the rapid increase in the use of social networking to find new sources of candidates and passive job seekers. This trend will continue with new ways of training and sharing information, new ways of collecting performance data on workers, etc.

And we’re not just seeing the need for technology in the workplace. New ways of communications, gathering information, reading books and newspapers will all continue to evolve. And as the technology evolves, so will the needs and skills of this newest Gen Web generation. Grandparents will join in this generation to communicate with their Grandchildren. Politicians will connect with their constituents. And Business will use technology to better connect to its customers, suppliers, and employees.

Cabot Jaffee, Ph.D. is CEO/President of AlignMark, Inc.

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