The modern workforce is truly multigenerational, especially in IT, and those HR departments that are still hiring and engaging staff based on generational lenses are failing their organization. Right now, it’s crucial for employers to be open to candidates of all ages and ensure they are engaging employees of all ages, or they run the risk of losing the very best talent to their competitors. The days of a blanket approach to hiring and engaging staff are over, talent in IT has never been more individual or diverse and employers need to ensure they are keeping up with the modern workforce.
Know your generations
Educating your HR team about the various generations and how to engage them is crucial. This includes understanding that there are four generations in the workforce today: Baby Boomers (1945-1964), Gen Xers (1965-1980), Millennials (1981-1997) and Gen Z (1997-2015). Each generation has specific characteristics which should be considered when hiring and engaging staff.
Baby Boomers working life traits
This generation grew up in tough times but entered the workforce following one of the largest economic booms in history. Hard working and loyal, Baby Boomer employees have historically been more focused on saving than spending money; however this has changed today because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
Generation X working life traits
Gen Xers have a strong work ethic, they’re goal orientated, focused on building wealth and living the dream with their family. Gen Xers are the most educated generation and they’re also typically the highest paid earners in a business, although this isn’t the case in the IT sector where the following generations are commanding the highest pay.
Millennial working life traits
Millennials care about what they do, so you’ll need to provide them with meaningful opportunities that align with who they want to be as learners. You should also allow time for creativity because it’s important for this generation. Millennial employees will feel disengaged if they don’t see opportunity for growth or relevance in their role compared to other generations. This is an entrepreneurial group which often needs autonomy over projects along with feedback from mentors and coaches when needed.
They want to be challenged and do work which makes them feel like it’s purposeful for themselves or others around them. This means any form of reward recognition should focus on their accomplishments as well as providing opportunities for growth – such as job shadowing senior staff members or taking courses related to leadership skills at your institution. It has been found that 75% of millennials say they will choose companies who provide flexibility over those who offer high remuneration.
Generation Z working life traits
Generation Z are the most diverse generation in history and require flexibility. They want to work, but they value their personal lives too. This is a group that’s often multi-tasking with multiple devices at once, so you need to provide them with opportunities for mobility as well as balance between life and work. This means providing flexible working hours or virtual working options where possible.
Technology is key for recruiting Gen Zs. This generation grew up on the internet and as a result they’re digitally savvy, so you should consider how this will influence your hiring practices. It’s important to engage GenZs and Millennials through social media channels, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, when looking to hire them because these are places where they’ll be checking what employers have to offer in terms of benefits and culture.
How to keep your multigenerational team engaged
Awareness of generational traits is crucial to not only hiring but ensuring you are able to engage staff in the right way and help them achieve success. Different generations have different needs, it’s important to give all staff the opportunity to learn from each other. This means not only educating your team about their generational traits, but also ensuring you are in tune with how they work and what motivates them – this will ensure a happy workforce which is more productive and proactive.
Recruiter tip for multigenerational engagement: use your intranet
We know from our clients’ experience with employees and new starters that a company intranet is a great way to engage across all generations. All employees should have access to it, with the option of receiving email notifications that alert when new content has been added or edited so they can stay informed about what’s happening at their workplace and keep up-to-date with current events. It will also provides a forum for discussion among multigenerational peers around topics related to both business and personal interests, without going through formal channels.
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