Hobson Associates

Hiring for the Generations (Boomers, X, Y, and Z)

CandidatesEver have those days when you feel lonely? No reason to. I recently read in an article by Tinypulse, that our current population includes 1.44 billion Gen Xers, 1.72 billion members of the Y generation, and a staggering 2.52 billion generation Z people… Chances are, you currently manage or have managed employees from each generation (look out, Gen Z is entering the workforce too). In order to have a successful organization and increase your profits, you must deal differently with each generation. Being a millennial (otherwise known as Gen Y) and a technology recruiter who talks to countless people of all ages and demographics, I have a bit of insight on the topic.

I’ve laid out below, thanks to the same article, parts of a very eye-opening infographic. I hope it helps you in your daily life- whether you’re dealing with an employee, co-worker, family member, or the barista at Starbucks! …

Best Traits

To be an effective manager, you must fully understand who you are managing from a generational perspective. All studies share the same motto when it comes to this- always play off of the pros and cons of each generation’s general attributes.

Best Traits of Different Generations

What They Want From an Employer

This is very important when an employer/hiring manager sells a prospective candidate on their company. As shown below, each peer group has a very different list of desires in terms of what they desire in a new company to work for.

What They Want From an Employer

How to Motivate Them

While it is important to leverage each group’s motivators, a hiring manager should try to not “categorize” employees by a just a letter, but rather get to know who they are as individuals. The best recruiting advice I can give, is to take the time to get to know and understand  each member of your team. The result is employees feeling more connected to their managers, regardless of their age.

How to Motivate Them

Characteristics I’ve Noticed While Interviewing Candidates

  • Baby Boomers are interested in more traditional roles with traditional companies.
  • Gen X is very inquisitive when learning about new opportunities, as if they are originally skeptical until their first interview.
  • Gen Y and Z are very similar, younger professionals interested in hearing about companies that have cutting edge technologies, collaboration, and an interactive work environment.

In a nutshell:

  • Take the time to understand and embrace each generational difference, and accommodate accordingly.
  • Adapt your management techniques for each generation, but also keep in mind who they are as individuals.
  • Maintain parity for each employee- this will eliminate alienation, regardless of their generation.

It’s a big world out there. Make sure you find and keep the right people on your team.  A savvy recruiter or executive leader knows what makes the workforce population tick, and approaches hiring and managing each generation a bit differently, and for good reason -- you can’t afford not to!