By: Mary Catania and BrightMove Recruiting Software

An age diverse workforce can have real benefits for your organization, as different generations bring various levels of experience, qualifications, innovation, energy, devotion, and culture to the workplace. Since you are in the business of job recruitment, it’s important to think about the demographic you are targeting and how to effectively advertise for each age group.

People of all ages have the potential to contribute positively to the positions you are recruiting for at every level. Furthermore, where you place your advertising is significant, as different age groups respond to different media forms. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Generational Differences Survey Report, human resource professionals indicated that their workforce consists of 10% Veterans (Matures), 44% Baby Boomers, 34% Generations Xers, and 12% Nexters or Millennials (Generation Y).

Baby Boomers (ages 47-65) are receptive to online job postings, but respond best to media strategies that combine traditional print media, television, radio, and digital media. Baby boomers (approximately 80 million people) are primarily concerned with their families and health, so a job that offers good health benefits, childcare, and vacation time are essential to this age group. Boomers put a high priority on their career and seek status and success. They are hard workers who do not job hop; instead, they tend to be loyal to their companies. They are savers as well, since many boomers are poised to retire, so they may not stay in their position for too much longer.

Generation X (ages 31-46) has a short attention span, self-reliant, and is extremely busy. This generation responds to a mixture of traditional and new media, but they still cherish newspaper job placement ads. Generation X (approximately 50 million people) tends to have fast pace careers, and these mature adults are looking for quality careers that can lead them to advancement opportunities. This generation is entering their prime working years and is serious about establishing themselves. They expect to work hard, but be compensated well. Most importantly, they seem to be more loyal to their profession or industry than to their employer and are not opposed to switching jobs for a better salary or job title.

Generation Y (ages 16 -30) is bright and highly educated with a high utilization of online tools to land their dream jobs. They seek out social media for referrals and job placement. Salary and job culture are extremely important to them. These 20-somethings have seven jobs on average over the course of a decade because they demand more from themselves and their employer, constantly seeking the next best position and company. They work well in a team, require constant feedback, and also love a challenge. They value their social and personal life, and seek instant gratification, so while they can bring vitality and new ideas to a job, they most likely will not stay at a company long-term.

By better understanding the needs of different generations, recruiters can better target their job positions. A generational mix adds diversity to the workforce and contributes different needs, values, and attitudes to an organization.

Views: 134

Comment by Sunil Kumar on September 24, 2012 at 10:49am

Great Article. 

Comment by Martin O'Shea on September 25, 2012 at 1:46am

nice piece, understanding the needs and wants for a candidate in any line of business is surely a vital role. Although I'm not sure if generalising everyone into groups is the most appropriate 

Comment by Jason Webster on September 25, 2012 at 9:56am

Thanks for the insights, Mary. Just like all other forms of advertising, recruiters MUST send their job description to a wide array of outlets to get the highest levels of saturation. If they have a lot of entry-level jobs, they should consider using the tactics you suggested in reaching these job seekers. But don’t knock someone out based on age. You never know where someone is in their career path -- with self-employment, job changes, and career changes becoming more common.


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