Should Your Next Hire Be a Teenager?

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Absolutely, says Digitally Infinite's CEO.

Girl jumping for joy in a green dress

Ed’s note: This is a guest post written by Anuj Dhawan, CEO of Digitally Infinite.

Teenagers. They get a bad rap right? Well, I’m here to tell you that your next hire should be a teen because the way they operate is where the world is heading, and fast.

The irony I see around me is that most organisations are handing over the keys of digital transformation to people who don’t completely understand the current digital world, let alone the potential of our rapidly evolving digital future. I recently met a senior official in the government sector who is leading the digital transformation journey in his department, and to my surprise he did not have a Twitter account, did not use any social media, still believes in storing his documents on a USB drive, and is scared to use his credit card online.

“Teens are working quicker and more effectively than us, and we’re in denial if we think otherwise.”

I left our meeting scratching my head wondering what sort of transformation he could lead when he’s still tied to an ageing information era.

My mantra for creating a digital transformation team is to hire in teenagers and then give them freedom to carry out the required tasks. Organisations will quickly get their answers on where to improve and which technology to adopt.

You might be a clued-in entrepreneur, but you’re still highly vulnerable to being disrupted. This disruption has been brought on by exponential advancements in technology, and those leading the charge are those who’ve been digital natives from day dot – today’s teenagers.

So, what exactly do they do differently?

They’ve ditched the email

Teens barely use email and if they are using it, they’re probably only doing it to keep us oldies happy. Most young people are now chatting and exchanging information via social media. Any document changes can be done via the cloud, with multiple people accessing documents and changing them in real time. Email is dying and we have much more efficient ways of working now, with apps like Slack and Asana, and projects can be completely managed via the cloud without lengthy emails.

100 per cent browser-based

We’re now using our browsers 80 per cent of the time. Today and in the near future, this will probably increase to 100 per cent as all business applications move to the cloud.

And, taking it one step further, if all applications are presented through the browser, then do we really need devices like Windows OS or MAC at all? These environments actually attract additional costs, like antivirus and many more software licenses, in order to make it operational.

Google Chromebooks fit in the future-proofing organisation technology roadmap. In fact, Google’s vision of the future is 100 per cent browser-based via the Chrome operating system and the company argues that much of the computer experience we take for granted today is outdated, clunky, and unnecessary. Teens are working quicker and more effectively than us, and we’re in denial if we think otherwise.

They work flexibly

For many of us, a “normal office” is one where core hours are 9-to-5 and we work side by side with those who live in the same city as us. As entrepreneurs, we feel like we need to chain our employees to their desks, which is how we were made to work in our first jobs.

However, to get the best talent, maybe your next staff member lives in a different country to you. Talent acquisition is tricky, especially if you’re remote. Technology has made it possible for us to work wherever we want in the world and clever companies are capitalising on higher quality and more cost-effective talent that can take them to the next business level.

So, ditch your expensive management consultancy, and maybe even your whole email system, and see if hiring out-of-the-box could get your company working more effectively, productively and profitably. And before hiring a really expensive consultant, there’s no harm in giving your own son, daughter or any teenager a go. You might save some dollars, along with your company.

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