Today marks World Youth Skills day, an occasion to “reimagine youth skills post-pandemic” as the United Nations puts it. According to the International Labour Organization, youth employment decreased by 8.7 percent globally in 2020, compared with 3.7 percent for adults. It is an urgent call to employers around the world to reconsider their human resources. World youth skills day draws attention to the necessity to create employment opportunities and to equip young people with an entrepreneurship mindset.
There is no fixed truth about the youth age range, as it differs from one country to another. Nevertheless, in our context, we will be taking 19 to 29 aged people as a reference to youth. This niche, as a matter of fact, draws the light upon people who are considered to belong to late millennials, and early gen-zers generations, each having their own characteristics. While taking the year 1996 as the meeting point between these two generations, there are common traits according to which you’ll know why you need to hire more youth in your business!
Emotional intelligence refers to one’s ability to understand and control one’s emotions, as well as others. As a response to the Multiple Intelligences theory that is arguably thought to limit people, emotional intelligence has emerged as a skill allowing people to empathize with others, understand their needs, communicate efficiently and overcome obstacles. Emotionally intelligent people tend to occupy the position of HR or sales assistants/managers. Wondering why? Well, simply because it is easier for them to decipher customers, partners, and employees’ behaviors. Take emotions as a universal language, through which you can talk to the hearts and minds of everyone. After the outbreak of the pandemic, emotional intelligence has become indispensable to this niche. To be able to discern this trait here’s an EQ test according to which you can assess their emotional intelligence.
An article entitled “Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins” by Pew Research Center sheds light upon the implications of growing up in an “always-on” technological environment”. It is undeniable that late millennials and early Gen-zers are digital natives, as the former witnessed the rise of the internet and the latter grew up with the initiation of smartphones. With the launch of the iPhone in 2007, you can see that people who are born in 1996 and who had 11 years old by that time easily manipulate new technologies. You definitely need to have people with such a skillset in logistics to be able to bring innovation into your software, tools and to facilitate the workflow!
In the midst of the emergence of social media, they are believed to be great communicators whether in writing or speaking. A late-millennial or an early gen-zer can be a good fit for a customer success manager position, someone who is able to listen carefully to your customer’s inquiries, and who knows how to build mutual trust. It’s true that the logistics industry requires “a persona that is able to retain customers”, as Imen Ammar, HR and Quality Business Partner at Fulfillment Bridge, puts it. She affirms that “regardless of age, body language, use of words, tone, and personal branding help me spot the RIGHT candidate for a customer success manager position.”
In his interview with Dr. Steven Stein, CEO of Multi-Health Systems, Jeff Haden a contributing editor at Inc. refers to Gen z as “the next big retail disrupter(s)”. Being able to do different tasks at the same time is among the skills that shape people between 19 and 29 years old. Indeed, they are able to navigate the whole process from fixing bugs to taking care of your customers and can waver between different responsibilities at the same time. A 2021 fresh university graduate -not necessarily with previous work experience- can bring a huge added value in an industry that is growing disruptively. If you invest appropriately into creating out of this raw material, a beautiful sculpture then you actually got the whole thing right!
Having witnessed revolutions in the Arab world and terrorist attacks all over the world, these generations have developed a strong sense of responsibility to make the world a better place. Ultimately, these people are more likely to engage in associative and voluntary work. Many of them choose to develop soft skills and leadership in non-governmental organizations where they can serve their societies and also unlock their potential. This action step is an alternative to increase their chances of hiring. Eventually, their perspective will help you map out a whole strategy for social and environmental responsibilities in logistics!
At Fulfillment Bridge, youth accounts for 60% out of our human resources, a majority that has contributed to boosting our operations and to breathing new life into our perspectives. “First of all, it reflects how responsible we are towards our society; that is trusting our youth with the future of our business”, this is how Imen Ammar elaborates upon the idea of hiring youth in a logistics environment. “They have this BOLD and FRESH way of seeing things that always bring innovation to the table.”
Late-millennials and early gen-zers are team players. For some CEOs, it is a risk to hire someone young and without previous experience; for many, it is worth investing your time and effort to forge future leaders. If you’re still hesitating to take this step, there are different scenarios you can opt for, such as providing a sandwich course, an alternation between academic studies and practical experiences. It has become a trend for years that businesses take in charge the university fees of their undergraduate employees and the latters, in return, work not only to pay for their studies but also to grow more knowledgeable about an industry at an early age.