What Works and What Doesn`t: Young Professionals` Perspectives on the Use of Technology to Recruit, Train, Educate, and Communicate

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ABSTRACT
As many water industry employees of the baby boom generation begin to retire, companies are struggling to find the best ways to recruit and train Young Professionals to fill the newly created gaps. Technology is a crucially important tool in this process and it can be used correctly to motivate YPs or misused and go to waste. In this paper and presentation, Young Professionals offer their perspectives on various forms of computer technology tools used to recruit, train, and communicate. Topics discussed include the best use of webpages, blogs, webcasts, and online meeting software, to name a few.

INTRODUCTION
Like so many other fields, the water industry is facing an imminent “brain-drain”. The workforce has been populated largely by the huge baby boomer generation, and those employees have recently started to retire. A wealth of experience and knowledge will disappear with them into retirement unless companies make a proactive effort to recruit younger employees and transfer as much of that knowledge to them as possible. Ever since the boom of the computer industry, many less glamorous fields such as civil engineering have suffered shortages of new talent. That coupled with a big population dynamic shift have put all kinds of companies, from utilities to consulting firms and beyond, in danger of being understaffed and incompetent. In order to remain competitive, even the smallest corporations need to make the best use possible of the latest computer technology to recruit and educate young professionals (YPs).

Young professionals have been raised in the digital age with computers in their homes from the time they were small children. Unlike previous generations, learning to use computers was as early a skill as reading or math. The introduction of email and the world wide web to the general public in the late 80’s and early 90’s spawned a new era of instant information and communication. Though productivity has increased exponentially, interpersonal communication skills and patience in general has seemingly decreased substantially. That’s why it is so important that when employers select new technologies to incorporate in their workplace, they keep several goals and objectives in
mind.

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