The 1980s and 1990s brought us mullets, Miami Vice and Mariah Carey, and in the eyes of many Generation Xers and their Baby Boomer forebears, a plague of self-obsessed, lazy, narcissists into the workforce.
That group is otherwise known as Generation Y. In some industries, hiring someone from this group is seen as an unwelcome necessity. But others see a different side to this age group and want to harnessing their technological skills and capitalise on their early adoption of innovation to get a competitive edge.
This generation's seamless interaction with internet-connected mobile devices, and their constant consumption of digital information, makes them valuable when you consider emerging business models. Technology uptake in the quick service restaurants industry is evolving at a rapid rate.
We expect to take 80 percent of our orders from digital devices within the next three years, up from 60 percent today). In addition, technology will afford us greater end-to-end traceability of food products, with all food deliveries soon to be tracked street to street using mobile technology similar to GPS.
Our goal at Domino's is to become New Zealand's largest digital retailer - as it currently is in Australia.
Market dynamics have driven the requirement for us as a company is to continually innovate with mobile and e-commerce platforms so we can give customers as much control over their experience as possible.
To help achieve this strategic transition, it will be imperative that our workforce literally ‘lives and breathes’ the technology that will deliver our future growth.
This is one of the reasons 90 percent of our New Zealand staff are Gen Yers. They're adaptable and technology savvy, and we anticipate they will be invaluable as we move into an even more digital era.
Millennial staff are also better equipped to get us closer to the eye and ear of our customer because they have grown up with the technology that powers our future growth and they have embraced it on our behalf.
Here are the top five reasons Domino’s hires Gen-Y staff:
1. They are great at multi-tasking
2. They love to be continually challenged
3. They can be very competitive
4. They love constant change
5. They are the most connected generation
By employing Gen-Y staff, other companies can also arm themselves with a better insight into the needs of consumers who use digital platforms. We have found the key is for businesses to employ those who understand how to communicate with customers through this channel.
Many ask how we incentivise this generation. It's through a defined balance of financial reward, public recognition and the ability to promote and reward great behaviour.
In our own company we see the value this generation offers and their ability to keep us engaged with our customers. It may be time for other New Zealand managers to review their opinions of Gen-Y, remember those who first took a chance on them and look for ways to adapt their business to a workforce which has much to offer us.
Scott Bush is the New Zealand general manager for Domino’s. He was previously the state corporate operations manager for the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory markets in Australia.