You’ve likely read articles about specific generations, the differences between them, and their unique contributions to society and the workforce. From the Silent Generation to Gen Z, each one shares distinct experiences and characteristics, like personality traits, values, and generational opinions. As a recruiter, the framework of these generations can help provide a better understanding of what each group looks for in an employer, career, and work environment. In addition, understanding what motivates them can improve recruitment marketing strategy and messaging as you seek to hire them for your organization.
For the purposes of this article, we focus on defining and better understanding the BETA generation — an emergent group that is increasingly shaping today’s workplace environment.
Defining Generation BETA
If you haven’t heard of generation BETA, it’s likely because it is not a traditional generation defined by birth years or ages, like the Baby boomers or Millenials. Generation BETA is a group paving the way as the first true digital natives to assume senior positions in the workplace. It spans Millenials to the oldest Gen Z members, as they move out of entry-level positions and become key influencers and leaders within their organizations. Generation BETA is driving significant and noteworthy shifts in both business operations and communications in a way that requires everyone, especially recruiters, to pay attention.
In a recent study titled “Work in BETA: The Rising B2B Decision Maker,” GWI and LinkedIn’s B2B Institute took an in-depth look at the work-related habits and philosophies of 17,000 workers aged 21 to 40 years old. Based on the results of this study, researchers identified four defining characteristics, reflected in the four letters of the term BETA: members of this generation have blurred work-life boundaries and evolving mindsets. They are tech natives as well as activists. Think about these characteristics — they reflect a generation who values flexible work environments, innovation, open communication, equity and inclusion, fulfillment and purpose, and technology as it relates to the work environment and processes within it.
Because the BETA generation increasingly blurs work-life boundaries, individuals in this group are more likely to work overtime, including checking emails and messages outside of work hours. Additionally, 50% of BETAs use their personal devices for work and employ the same digital services in personal and professional capacities. The COVID-19 pandemic has further reduced the barriers between work and home for this group; for the many BETAs without a dedicated home office, remote working has had an especially profound impact on their work-life balance.
Generation BETA has a continuous connection to work through their smartphones, which, fortunately for employers and recruiters, makes content that is easily consumable and optimized for mobile the most effective way to reach them. Members of this generation will seek companies who encourage flexibility and open-mindedness to help prevent burnout — an important note to consider when crafting your employer branding messages and marketing content.
The BETA generation is also known for its drive to succeed through creative and innovative ways. They are more likely to proactively seek out educational opportunities to improve their knowledge and skillsets through online courses. They also tend to have more entrepreneurial mindsets— 30% of BETAs use freelance or entrepreneur work to supplement their primary jobs. BETAs want to be trendsetters, and they value modernization.
Knowing this, it’s wise for companies to invest in programs that encourage learning and growth and support continued education and/or clear pathways to become subject matter experts. BETAs also appreciate recognition programs that reward positive contributions to their organizations and communities. Making a difference matters.
BETAs are the first generation of digital natives to enter the workforce, and they started their careers at a time when digital knowledge was an expectation rather than a novelty. As a result, they are more likely than previous generations to use technology to manage the many demands on their time, favoring online channels like email and social media for initial business interactions. They are informal but effective communicators whose main business device is their smartphone, and they are constantly seeking new digital platforms and applications to increase their overall work efficiency.
For employers looking to reach generation BETA, a frictionless, engaging digital experience is critical. They gravitate toward content that is mobile-first, and video, in particular, is most likely to draw their attention and gain their approval in a crowded online space. As recruiters and human resource professionals, you’ll want to consider your organization’s tech initiatives, how your employer brand appears in the digital space, and how you can ensure a seamless recruitment marketing and application process online or via mobile device. Check out our innovative technology, KROW, to learn more about how we’ve helped companies innovate in this way.
As both consumers and employees, members of the BETA generation are especially activist-minded, and they place great importance on social justice issues. In fact, 83% want companies to take specific action related to the Black Lives Matter movement. To ensure they are working somewhere that aligns with their beliefs related to these matters, they consider employers’ values, as well as how companies respond to current issues when choosing a place to work. BETAs want and expect companies, especially their own prospective employers, to go beyond simple messaging on social media. They want to know that a company is active and contributing positively toward causes, whether in the local community or nationally, to back up their words.
BETAs prioritize a diverse work environment, community involvement and sustainable practices. BETAs also favor organizations that establish trust through thought leadership and authentic communication.
Engaging the BETA Generation as Employees
In the midst of the workplace culture shift due to the global pandemic, Generation BETA is redefining what leadership looks like and how business decisions should be made. A savvy, educated, innovative group, their values and characteristics will continue to challenge traditional work philosophies and practices — for the better. Hopefully, this glance into Generation BETA will encourage your team to think differently in how you target this rising group as it pertains to recruitment. At Bayard, we work with hundreds of clients to ensure that their strategies, channels, narratives and branding aligns with the BETA mindset. Reach out for more information on how we can help via firstname.lastname@example.org.Reach out