Some of us may be familiar with the different generations that make up our society – and our workforces: namely Generations X, Y and Z. But there is another generation of society that is less familiar: members of this generation will become economically active and join our workforces within the next five years.


Generation Alpha are typically defined as those born between 2010 and 2024. Talent Acquisition will be challenged to engage, nurture and recruit members of this generation in the coming few years whilst those working in Early Careers and Graduate recruitment will be almost exclusively focused on Generation Alpha within the next decade. Why is so little known about this topic? Why is so little spoken about this generation? In a recent HR Grapevine survey we carried out, 77% of our respondents reported being either ‘inadequately prepared’ or ‘not prepared at all’ for the introduction of Generation Alpha to their businesses. 


Who are Generation Alpha?


The oldest generation in our workforce at present is generation X. This generation was born into post-war stability, however, they also grew up into the instability of rising divorce rates. During the 1960s and 1970s, this generation was characterised as free spirited and rebellious in their youth when compared to their hard-working parents and grandparents. However, these stereotypes have since been debunked as unfair and inaccurate. In a 2016 study by Workfront, Generation X was found to be the most hard-working employees (as voted by over 60% of the study’s respondents).


Over 2.6 Million members of Gen Alpha are born every single week. By the end of this generational period in 2025, there will be a whopping 2 billion of them: estimated to surpass  Generation Z’s size: making them the (newest) largest generation in all of human history. 


Generation Alpha started to be born in 2010. This was the year that Instagram had its first download, the iPad was released, and “app” became the word of the year. Inevitably, this generation has been given the labels: “tech native”, “digitally literate” and “screenagers” (more on that later). Some may say that Generation Alpha has been a part of an accidental social experiment: having responsive screens placed in front of them to play and learn with from before they could even speak or walk. Gen Alpha is the first to be naturally digitally literate and entirely tech native. This has however also contributed to increasingly short attention spans and impaired social formation. 


They are already forcing the hand of social media companies. As the most tech-savvy generation to date, there is an unrivalled pressure being exerted on ‘Big Tech’ to create better online safeguards for children. Despite being the youngest generation, they have the highest amount of purchasing power and brand influence Also, they are set to have the highest purchasing power and already wield significant influence in purchasing and buying decisions because of their access to current affairs and entertainment which pressures parents and the people with the actual money to spend.


So, what can we do to prepare for the introduction of Generation Alpha into our workplaces?


There are three critical points of interest:


1) How can we educate Generation Alpha and prepare them for the world of work? We have seen in the past 2 years that the workplace has changed: an evolution manifested from lockdown. Hybrid or remote working is commonplace and it’s up to us to educate the next generation on how this type of working environment functions.


2) How can we educate ourselves in preparation for welcoming them into the workplace? What does Generation Alpha want to see in the workplace and what motivates them? When we understand this – and how different this will be to previous generations – we’ll be able to accommodate and welcome them more effectively into our organisations.


3) How can we learn from the current generations in our workplace and use this information to anticipate how future teams will collaborate and operate effectively? Understanding how different team members from different generations are working together today, in spite of the fact that they may have different motivations, personalities and experiences, can help us with workforce planning and future talent strategies. To understand the exciting future talent in Generation Alpha, we must look carefully at those generations already in our grasp.

How we recruit is changing, and it will have to continue to change to recruit Generation Alpha. Gen Alpha will be tech-savvy and collaborative but their relationship with remote work, technology and social media, will bring new complexities that must be considered by employer brands and accounted for in recruitment strategies. 

But within the complexity of the future of recruitment and Gen Alpha is the simple truth that HR and Recruitment remain focused on one thing: people. AssessFirst is here to help you every step of the way by equipping you with the knowledge, skills and technology Gen Alpha will be relieved to discover when they join you as an employer. If you want more information about Generation Alpha, their needs and practices you can implement now to be prepared for them plus improve the experience of current employees, you can download our free ebook ‘Generation Alpha, a guide to the future of the workforce’ Here!