Currently, 92% of Gen Z-ers have a digital footprint. For this population, smart phones and social media aren't seen as devices, but rather a way of life.Gary Amos, CEO of Commercial Finance Americas
What are you doing to prepare for the next generation? Generation Z (Gen Z), composed of those born between 1995 and 2010, will account for one-third of the U.S. population by 2020. The first true group of digital natives, this demographic makes up 25.9% of our population. (1) In February, I had the unique opportunity to spend the day in Washington, D.C., with the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation for our 2018 Industry Future Council Meeting [see story]. This experience got me thinking about how we can effectively connect with this future generation.
1. Showcase the value add of digital and how your organization integrates it every day.
Digitalization is defined as the integration of digital technologies into everyday life. (2) Currently, 92% of Gen Z-ers have a digital footprint. (3) For this population, smart phones and social media aren’t seen as devices and platforms, but rather a way of life. Companies that showcase how and why they embrace a digital mindset and apply it in day-to-day business will be at the forefront of emerging talent’s minds. That’s why internship programs are critical. Our Siemens Financial Services Program will involve students in value-driven work, from launching a new internal app for employees, to supporting digital projects managed by our teams.
2. Position how our industry offers entrepreneurial opportunities, growth and security.
Being born into an environment where many watched their elder family members struggle in the Great Recession, Gen Z may lean more toward security and money. Though idealistic and entrepreneurial like their millennial predecessors, Gen Z is also motivated by assurances of a secure life outside of work. (4) For equipment leasing, many signs point to strong business confidence and increased investments as our key markets grow. The industry is a $1 trillion sector well positioned for the future. (5) In terms of the entrepreneurial agenda, equipment finance 2.0 as coined by Dexter Van Dango is not our father’s leasing company. (6) The new equipment leasing and finance market is rooted in data-driven processes and blockchain technology and offers this new generation an opportunity to come in and further “digitize” this cultural shift.
3. Encourage your hiring managers and employees to connect with potential talent digitally.
Gen Z is the first generation to grow up where the idea of becoming a social media influencer makes just as much sense as going to school and getting a business degree. They spend hours each day watching influencers online and studying the art of establishing a digital identity. Now more than ever, our employees’ online personas serve as both an employer branding and a talent acquisition tool to engage this newest workforce demographic. According to Forbes, 60% of Gen Z-ers want their career and everyday work to impact the world. (7) Employees that share the positive societal impacts that equipment leasing can provide will have a higher chance of establishing an authentic connection. What better way to do this than working for an organization that applies financing solutions to improve healthcare, upgrade infrastructure and even revitalize our manufacturing floor?
The time has come to reinvent our industry to attract a new generation of talent. Through showcasing the value add of integrating digital, positioning the security and opportunities for growth and encouraging our employee networks to establish genuine connections with this new demographic online, we have the ability to both attract and learn from our newest addition to today’s workforce.
Gary Amos is CEO of Commercial Finance Americas, at Siemens Financial Services.
AS SEEN IN: Equipment Leasing & Finance Magazine