You hide under a counter with your teacher. Someone shoots some of your friends in another part of the school. You are so scared and afterwards you will never forget. In the outside world, people lose their jobs and terrorists drive trucks through crowds of people walking to a live concert. Anxiety travels with you as your move toward independence and your first sales position.
Imagine growing up with financial ruin, student massacres, rumblings of war, bullying and the #metoo movement, and all of this shouting at you through the glaring signage of Facebook and social media. This picture is woven into the growing up experience of 17 million Generation Z workers just entering the work force (with another 60 million right behind them: see Wall Street Journal article here).
These new American workers looking for their first job do not want student debt, a risky environment or unstable employment.
They will work hard and sacrifice sex and sleep for a ‘sensible’ and financially stable life – one that is free of interpersonal stress and is technology driven.
They are less driven to own businesses and have grown up relating to others thought their digital devices. They will need help understanding how to develop face-to-face relationships with people and how to handle interpersonal conflict. They would rather run or hide than face someone whom is critical or angry.
What does this mean for recruiting new salespeople out of college or high school? It means that:
- College degrees become less important to employers (especially with a high-employment rate)
- Successful onboarding will simulate mini-colleges for specialized to company and industry needs.
- Trainers will utilize more video-based training provided to smart phones
- Managers will mentor and administer life skills training through small family groups (ex. successful one-on-one interactions, budgeting and financial knowledge, etc.)
- Reps must be taught how to handle failure, rejection, and how to take risks and how to handle stress of getting better at something.
- Prospecting will be the most difficult sales skill to teach them and will require much nurturing
- Negotiating price and terms will also require much training
- You will teach them goal achievement skills for sales and for home as well
Generation Z does want to get rich and they will work overtime to do it, but they do not make good decisions about how to use their time and what strategies to employ to get them to financial security. Think of their coaching as a mentorship to financial security. This means helping them see the future, learn to earn the income and how to invest for progess toward their financial dreams
Think like an educator. Think like a college professor, a mentor, the head of a family and a life trainer and you will help these hard-working young people find inspiration on your company’s campus. Do this or they will quit in a short amount of time for someone who will.