“You're not a digital native.”
In a world that’s seemingly entirely online, it has to hurt to hear, again and again, you’re just no longer “with it.” And when that feeling of powerlessness extends to your ability to seek out your next job, it’s more than just a minor grievance; it’s a matter of vital importance.
We’re paying close attention to the changing needs of Baby Boomers and the most effective way to market to them.
Today, one in ten Baby Boomers predicts they’ll never even retire. Yet, recent research by the Pew Internet Project shows that in our brave new digital age, one of the biggest perceived sticking points for people aged 50 to 68 is a fear factor when it comes to navigating the emerging capabilities of any given mobile device or social platform.
There is massive change underway in online recruiting, particularly in the social arena. But rather than leaving Boomers behind, this social arena is becoming an environment that is actually on their side. Instead of having to enlist their Gen X or Millennial son or daughter to ghost-write social media dispatches, Boomers now hold the keys to their own social destiny, and it’s increasingly no different from what they already know.
Now, using the right tools, a recruiter can put together a profile on anyone who exists on the Internet, no matter how scattered data on any given individual might be. It’s a powerful tool both for recruiters looking for the right experience and talent, and for the end user who ultimately has control.
When a Boomer takes a true interest in his or her professional social media profiles, and presents a polished, earnest mirror of himself or herself online, it can only paint a stronger picture of this person to a recruiter eyeballing a list of candidate profiles.
More and more, this is less about daily publishing in social channels like Facebook or LinkedIn specifically. In fact, it’s about doing what people have done forever: participating in the professional communities. No different than attending a seminar or joining a professional association, now it’s happening online and off. And when professionals just engage on the web with related professional conversation and activity, they are in a position to be found by recruiters.
What this means is that as offline and online worlds become one, marketers of all things need to further encourage Boomers to free themselves from the shackles of being digital immigrants, while making it as easy as possible for them to start participating and bringing their own native approaches to the online world.
We think the results will be surprising.