As millennials are deemed as social media addicts, many older business owners are unlikely to employ them. But it might work in your favour if you do so
Photo credit: ITV
As series five of Love Island recently sailed back onto our screens, it seems that the nation has again been captivated by ITV2’s romance-filled annual offering. Having spent the year excitedly awaiting the eight weeks’ worth of recouplings, dumpings and bombshells, fans of the show can finally satisfy their need for a little sun-laden drama.
However, whilst eagle-eyed viewers might’ve been looking forward to relaxed evenings watching singletons find love, it may be argued that many of the Islanders have spent their year pursuing an entirely different motivation. The illustrious appeal of becoming a famous influencer. Yes, the show’s biggest critics suggest that our favourite contestants haven’t taken to the villa with the hope of finding their soul mate – rather a harem of profitable social media deals.
Gen Z are often said to be driven by a new-age desire to become social media famous, racking up thousands of followers and in turn, thousands in their bank account. As such, they’re typically thought to lack commitment and drive, with office-based roles having little appeal. After all, they don’t look very A-list on Instagram.
Is there any truth to this stereotype? Are employers more hesitant to employ Gen Z candidates thanks to shows like Love Island? Has there been a decline in the number of young people looking for corporate positions? Are there benefits to their avid understanding of social media and its money making capabilities?
With shows like Love Island and the glamour of social media subliminally suggesting that glamour-filled, celebrity-induced lifestyles are the idealistic route to success, it’s thought that fewer members of the Gen Z demographic are pursuing professional opportunities.
Although, it appears that this suggestion fails to reflect the reality that lies behind the doors of VerriBerri’s offices. Zoe McClymont, chief brand executive at VerriBerri says: “We’ve not seen a decline in the number of young people looking for corporate positions, if anything, young people seem more determined to succeed. We’ve seen great tenacity from those trying to get a foot in the door in a competitive industry by taking lower paid apprenticeships, for example. This determination may well be driven by a desire to afford the lifestyles they see on Instagram but for the most part, I would guess their motivation comes purely from wanting to start a rewarding career or simply to earn enough to get on the property ladder.”
I don’t think we can associate a change with Love Island specifically but the influencer industry has had an effect on what a dream job is. No longer do people dream of becoming singers and actresses, rather a blogger or reality TV star. That being said, there are plenty of influencers in the industry that still maintain both a blog or social media platform and a full-time job – not because they have to but because they want to. This shows that in many cases, people continue to be hardworking, pursuing several different avenues.
Finding a balance between 9-5 and their overall passions, the Love Island or social media lifestyle may actually instil the belief that anyone can find success as an entrepreneur. Having it all doesn’t necessarily mean every designer handbag despite what many people might think, rather Gen Z are shown that there’s no limit to the accomplishments they could achieve.
As it’s widely believed that the influence of Love Island and social media on work ethic are largely negative, it seems that professionals with first-hand experience would disagree. In many ways, an exceptional understanding of social media is beneficial for employers, a skill that helps Gen Z hopefuls to find success within professional roles. McClymont says: “Many of our staff have side hustles as social media influencers and bloggers. They’re immersing themselves in social media day-to-day which equips with an incredible range of knowledge and understanding of the platforms, something that’s greatly beneficial for our clients.” Although, organisations may have seen an incline in people wanting to have a career in social media, without a full understanding of what that might entail.
Stereotypes nor assumptions have a place within the world of business; the characteristics thrust upon Gen Z cannot be applied to every candidate. An interest in social media and admirable work ethic aren’t mutually exclusive, in many ways this can inform the success of a business’ campaign. For any business looking to expand and utilise social media, Gen Z truly are an invaluable tool. A group of employees that, much like social media, shouldn’t be underestimated.