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How to Hire Each Generation

3 Min Read

The modern office is a melting pot of generations, including industry vets, experienced professionals, excited new hires, and wide-eyed interns. They span ages, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z, coming from different backgrounds that contribute to their uniqueness as employees and create particular opportunities for HR professionals, in terms of hiring and retention.

Below, we explore what’s special about each generation and how to keep them all working together productively.

Baby Boomers

Born: 1946 to 1964

Characteristic Traits: Ambitious, loyal, work-centric

Work Style: Self-reliant, practical, goal-oriented

Motivate with: New experiences to avoid stale routines

Stressed by new communication tools

Baby Boomers: 38%

Generation X: 40%

Millennials: 43%

Post-Millennials: 50%

Generation X

Born: 1965 to 1980

Characteristic Traits: Balanced, entrepreneurial, individualistic

Work Style: Independent, autonomous, meritocratic

Motivate with: Flexibility for obligations like parenthood

Optimistic about the benefits of tech

Baby Boomers: 29%

Generation X: 30%

Millennials: 30%

Post-Millennials: 11%

Generation Y (Millennials)

Born: 1981 to 1995

Characteristic Traits: Avid, hearty, searching

Work Style: Inquisitive, responsive, collaborative

Motivate with: Acknowledgement through greater responsibility

Most used method of collaboration

Baby Boomers: Meeting

Generation X: Email

Millennials: Email

Post-Millennials: Chat

Generation Z (Post-Millennials)

Born: After 1996

Characteristic Traits: Young, social, innovative

Work Style: Flexible, structured, transparent

Motivate with: Education to build careers

Least favorite method of collaboration

Baby Boomers: Screen Sharing

Generation X: Screen Sharing

Millennials: Call

Post-Millennials: Call

Who is Generation Alpha?

Generation Alpha are the children of Gen Y. There are more than 2.5 million of them born each day. They are “born to digital technology like it’s a fifth element of nature. They will be the wealthiest, the most intensely educated, and most dynamic generation that human society has yet seen.”

Key Difference Between Gen X and Baby Boomers

You’ll need to offer reward incentives to recruit and retain Gen X.

  • Gen X craves prizes and rewards as a form of recognition for their superior collaboration and information skills.
  • 64% of Gen X believe teams should be rewarded for success, but only 44% of Baby Boomers share this belief.
  • 66% of Gen X believe individual employees should be rewarded for sharing information and collaboration, but only 43% of Baby Boomers agree.

Key Difference Between Gen X and Gen Y

There aren’t too many differences between Gen X and Gen Y. You’ll need to offer social media collaboration to recruit and retain them both.

  • Between 54% and 62% of Gen X and Gen Y communicate with business partners, gather market research, and sell products via social media.

Every Generation Needs Employee Training

Employee training is the key to productivity and enhanced brand awareness.

  • Between 50% and 63% of Gen Y and Baby Boomers don’t have a full understanding of their organization’s brand.
  • Only 56% of Gen X have a good understanding of their organization’s brand.

Better employee training begins with better human resource management. To get the most out of each generation, start by building your knowledge and sharpening your skills in human resources. Consider earning your Bachelor’s or Master’s in Human Resource Management from Concordia University today.


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