As Easy As X, Y, Z: How to Recruit Different Generations with Targeted Techniques

23rd February 2015

As recruiters, we know how important it is to cater our recruitment methods and styles to the demographic we are trying to reach. Utilising in-depth knowledge of each generation of workers will ensure the best and most suitable candidates apply for the job. In this week’s post, we look from the Baby Boomers, to Generations X, Y and Z and at how employers can target their recruitment in order to reach their desired audience.

The Baby Boomers and Generation X
Born in the post war baby boom, right up to the early 1960s, The Baby Boomers are often described as the first ‘generation’ due to the huge increase in the population at that time. Together with Generation X born between the late 1960s and early 1980s, they make up the eldest of the generations of workers currently employed in the UK and around the world. The These generations were the backbone of the working society for many decades, but new generations are beginning to come of age with new working techniques, styles and technological trends.

Characteristics of Baby Boomers and GenX generally reflect the attitudes of the society they grew up in. Their parents were forced to work long hours to support growing families, and this means that many members grew up to be self-sufficient workers. These two generations were more affected by broken homes as the divorce rate rose, developing individuals who are independent and able to stand on their own two feet. Targeting the baby boomers through recruitment can be easily achieved through using more traditional mediums, whilst Generation X are particularly in tune with more technological and online means of recruiting. Many people in this generation will have families, mortgages and other commitments to juggle meaning they will be more likely to take jobs which allow them a good work/life balance as well as allowing them to be self-sufficient, perhaps in positions of greater control. They are also more likely to be loyal workers.

In terms of recruitment, Generation X will be drawn to job advertisements that are creative and descriptive and their decisions may not necessarily reflect the amount of money on offer, but rather the type of work on offer and the ability to maintain a healthy home life while achieving employment aspirations.

Generation Y
Generation Y are the workers who were born between 1980 and 1994 and make up a massive part of today’s working society. This generation has seen the greatest changes since the Baby Boomers of the 1960s. Members of Generation Y are often highly educated on sociological changes and have been brought up able to utilise new technologies. As Generation Y grew up, the world around them changed in notable ways: ethnic diversity is at its greatest and there have been enormous advances in technology including computers, the internet and mobile phones.

In order to recruit Generation Y, it is important to understand how this group tends to search for jobs and what kind of advertisements will draw them in. Using an online recruitment agency is advisable as a massive proportion of this generation use and enjoy the internet in all its forms and are always experimenting with new media. This is also why social media recruiting is becoming more popular amongst this sector. This generation was at the forefront of the creation of social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, and respecting their knowledge of this will help to target them. Generation Y has less brand loyalty and can be more concerned with receiving a good salary, a healthy work environment and good prospects for the future.

Generation Y are often referred to as millenials as they came to working age around the start of the new millenium. They are considered to be the most pampered generation in terms of the social and technological advancements they have been privy to during their development. This means that recruitment should take on more of a nurturing vibe and many will go for jobs which offer them flexible hours but also challenging work they can really sink their teeth into.

Generation Z
Generation Z will be the next big group of workers to change the face of employment as they come of age. Born between 1994 and 2010, Generation Z will begin their employment in an entirely different sphere from the previous two generations. They will be in a more sophisticated media and internet realm as they grow up, meaning eventually targeting them will require a deep knowledge of what motivates them.

In some studies, members of Generation Z have been proven to be more entrepreneurial and more likely to want to make their own money and work for themselves, meaning recruitment needs to cater to this need for independence. This however does not mean they desire bigger salaries and more money: studies have shown they will be more motivated by the work they do and what they receive in terms of mental fulfillment. In order to recruit them, new methods and emerging trends will need to be used. Generation Z are likely to be more discerning in how they choose their jobs which means employers will need to find engaging ways of advertising jobs, perhaps through entirely new mediums. Once more, using online recruitment agencies will ensure the newest and best techniques are being used to find top candidates.

What does the future hold for recruitment and employment? We may only know as Generation Z grows and develops, but new minds and fresh ideas could indeed be a stimulating trend for society.

"In order to recruit Generation Y, it is important to understand how this group tends to search for jobs and what kind of advertisements will draw them in. Using an online recruitment agency is advisable..."