If you are 21 years old right now, you were a literal baby when 9/11 happened. The housing crisis was something you heard your parents talking about—if you were paying attention. Instead, you were more likely to be playing Angry Birds on your mom’s new phone or watching the latest Vine. You were too young to take part in the 2016 election, and COVID-19 welcomed you into legal adulthood.

You have had a phone glued to your hand since your adolescence, or even earlier.

You have never had to look at an actual map. You’ve been able to google whatever you needed to know.

It is easy for older generations, including management on a discrete manufacturing shop floor, to mock or dismiss younger talent as overly depending on technology. Generation Z simply doesn’t know how to do things the way they used to be done.

They are helpless without their phone in hand.

Maybe.

But if you are 40 years old right now, by the time you were old enough to buy your own music, you were buying CDs. You may have seen an eight-track player before, but the technology your parents used when consuming music was hopelessly out of the date by the time you were in the market for the latest Notorious BIG album. There was never any need to learn how to use the clunky, dust-covered eight-track player in your parents’ basement.

Their technology was no longer relevant.

Every generation learns to use the tools and technology needed to navigate the world they were born into. When that happens, every generation that depended on old technology and old ways of doing things immediately dismisses young people as being less informed and capable than they were when they were young.

It is a tale as old as time.

But if you’re 40 years old, you do not know how to crank-start a car. That technology was out of date long before you got behind the wheel.

Lack of Relevant Technology is Hurting Hiring

Discrete manufacturers today need to realize times have changed. Generation Z expects to see advanced technology in their workspace. Jotting machine data down on a clipboard doesn’t just seem inefficient to younger workers. The impact of outdated or non-existent technology on the shop floor creates the same feeling that old eight-track players used to create in the now 40-year-old manager. 

It’s a sign that your employer is no longer relevant. It feels like they are not even trying. It feels like they have accepted that their best days are behind them and are just managing the last few seconds of the fourth quarter in a game that has already been decided.

Manufacturing is having a labor crisis. There are at least a million unfilled openings across the sector. There are several reasons for that, but manufacturers who forego technology for archaic ways of doing business aren’t just leaving money on the table.

They are putting a big sign on the door telling younger workers that the shop floor is a place where time has stood still.

And a sign like that never attracts the best applicants.

Thankfully, that can change.

Use Modern Technology to Attract Talent

Alora by Data Inventions is the manufacturing intelligence platform that instantly modernizes your shop floor. Alora gives operators the insight they expect, delivered through the technology they are used to using.

If you want to attract talent, you must invest in technology. Imagine Tony Stark recruiting fellow Avengers into the fight against Thanos by handing them a pager and telling them to hit him up on the payphone once Manhattan starts to sink into the sea.  

It wouldn’t have worked.

Ditch the eight-track player (and the pagers, please) and modernize your shop floor today.