Generational Recruiting: How to Tailor your Recruitment and Retention Messages for All Generations

People sitting waiting to be interviewed

How do you communicate internally when your workplace has employees from multiple generations?  The key is to ask the right questions, listen to what your colleagues have to say, and remember to customize your message to the right audience.

But what about recruiting and retaining candidates from different generations? Should you establish a custom message depending on the age group? Should you utilize different media tactics and channels for each age group?

For generational recruiting, we recommend starting with a similar approach as your internal communication: tailor your message and medium to the audience you want to reach.

There are 3 current generations in the workplace and quickly followed Gen Z and Gen A who are just about or will be preparing to enter the workforce. Below, we highlighted what each generation are what they are looking for in a company and some recruiting tactics to consider.

Baby Boomers Cartoon Age and Recruitment

What are Baby Boomers looking for in a company

  • Flexible hours-many are choosing not to retire at age 65-offering part-time hours, or some work flexibility is important
  • Stability-they want to ensure that their job is secure
  • Healthcare Benefits-these become more important as they age and require more healthcare options.

Recruiting Tactics

  • The use of digital is universal for all generations and baby boomers are no different
  • They do tend to prefer traditional methods of communication-print/radio/phone
  • They prefer that you get to the point they are more interested in the day-to-day responsibilities of their role

Generation X Cartoon Age and Recruitment

What is Gen X looking for in a company?

  • Growth opportunities and consistency-at this stage in their careers they are looking to learn and desire the opportunity to be a contributor
  • Work-life balance-desire to have a balance between working and personal life
  • The “why” of the organization is very important to them
  • Formal career planning-at this stage in their careers they know what they want
  • Training and development opportunities are very important to this generation

Recruiting Tactics

  • Digitally savvy-This generation knows how to utilize online sources and they turn to them frequently.
  • Connected via mobile — Text and emails are strong communication methods for this age group.
  • Promote a combination of the company culture and the “day-to-day” of the role.

Millennials Boomerang Generation Cartoon Age and Recruitment

What is Gen Y looking for in a company?

  • Opportunities for Growth – Since many are just starting their careers or are a few years in. Unlike Gen X a “formal career path” may not necessarily be their goal.
  • Mentorship programs – They have been in the workplace long enough to recognize what they can gain from more experienced peers.
  • Work-Life balance – Millennials want work-life balance as more and more are seeking out unique working approaches (remote working, custom hours, gig work, pet-friendly offices).
  • Engage them digitally – As digital natives, this age group is attracted to technology-forward companies.

Recruiting Tactics

  • Company Culture — Promote the company as a whole and not just the aspects of the role itself.
  • Benefits go beyond RRSP and a health package. Benefits such as paid time off, flexible work schedules (work from home), free lunch or gym memberships on bitcoin mixers may appeal more to this group.
  • No “cog in the machine” — Provide them examples of how they can affect the company and how the company affects the community.

Generation Z Cartoon Age and Recruitment

What is Gen Z looking for in a company?

  • Learning opportunities – This is a younger generation, and they may not have decided on a career just yet but are excited to learn and grow.
  • Mentorships – Like similar generations-Gen Z will value mentorship and at this stage in their careers, they will look toward mentors for guidance.
  • Flexibility – They are more likely to want to work remotely or test out a non-traditional career path.
  • Engaged digitally – As digital natives, this generation is looking for technology-forward companies.
  • Contribution – Although young, Gen Z wants to be heard and contribute. However, they may not be familiar with the system of “paying dues” as older generations might expect.

Recruiting Tactics

  • Promote benefits- like Gen Y, they desire benefits that are beyond just RRSP’s and health benefits.
  • More likely to be entrepreneurial — Provide examples of how they can make a difference and contribute beyond the day-to-day of the role.

In reviewing your internal and 3rd party recruiting strategies it’s important to understand that candidates of each generation have vastly different approaches to job hunting, work-life balance and work productivity. Some differences are subtle and are a matter of communication style, individual interpretation, and life stages.

The key is to keep your audience in mind and highlight the key elements of both the company and the job that will most resonate with the candidates you want to attract! If you would like more information on how to plan your recruitment strategy, we would love to chat!