In a world where five distinct generations coexist in the workplace, building an employer brand that appeals to all may seem like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle from mismatched sets. But it’s a puzzle worth completing. Embracing a multigenerational workforce not only fills talent gaps but also weaves a rich tapestry of perspectives and skills into your team. 

This shift isn't just about workplace harmony; it's an essential response to demographic trends shaping our society. Businesses now face the critical task of forging inclusive environments that harness the potential of every age group. 

In this two-part series, Page Outsourcing explores each generation currently in the workforce and some of their distinct characteristics as well as how you can tailor your employer brand to resonate with each.  

Why you should embrace a multigenerational workforce 

In a global job market where talent is scarce, overlooking any demographic, including the very young and those over 55, is a missed opportunity. Entry-level workers bring fresh, unfiltered perspectives, while older generations offer wisdom, experience and stability. By embracing this broad spectrum, companies can not only fill talent gaps but also enrich their workforce with diverse thoughts and approaches. 

“The value of age diversity is increasingly recognised as a business strength”, notes Simon Long of 55/Redefined, an employer-focused brand supporting businesses on age inclusivity. “Studies reveal that a multigenerational mix fosters business resilience and spurs innovation.” 

So, how can you tailor your employer brand to attract a multi-generational talent pool? The first step lies in understanding each generation's distinct attributes and motivations. Remember, however, that these are generalisations. Many individuals display characteristics that overlap with other generations. There are tech-savvy Traditionalists and loyal Zoomers, just as there are Millennials who prefer face-to-face communication. The key is to recognise the broader trends while appreciating the unique qualities of each individual. 

By delving into these generational characteristics, we can better tailor our management and engagement strategies to create a workplace that is not only diverse but also harmoniously integrated.  

Generation Z (Born 1997–2012) 

Profoundly shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and with a passion for environmental issues, Zoomers (as they are sometimes known) are driven by values and ethics. Their preference for autonomy and a workplace that mirrors their commitment to making a positive impact sets them apart. 

Millennials (Born 1981–1996) 

As the generation poised to comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025, Millennials blend competitiveness with a strong sense of community and a deep appreciation for diversity. What motivates them most? They thrive on responsibility, seeking meaningful interactions with their managers, and craving work that's not just a job but an experience. When it comes to communication, they're all about the digital world – think instant messages, texts and emails. 

Generation X (Born 1965–1980) 

A group known for valuing flexibility and independence. They appreciate quick, meaningful feedback on their work and love the flexibility to shape their own schedules. This generation actively seeks opportunities to expand their skill sets, such as participating in advanced professional development programmes or leading ground-breaking projects. 

Baby Boomers (Born 1946–1964) 

Making up a significant portion of today's workforce, Baby Boomers bring an optimistic and competitive spirit and a strong sense of teamwork. They are motivated by loyalty to the company, and many still favour phone calls and face-to-face interactions.  

Remarkably, 65% of Baby Boomers plan to work past age 65, a testament to their enduring commitment to their careers. “This statistic is not just a number”, says Simon Long. “It represents a significant cultural shift in our understanding of career longevity and the evolving nature of retirement. This generation's desire to continue contributing professionally challenges traditional notions of ageing and work, showcasing their invaluable experience and wisdom as an untapped resource in the modern workforce.” 

Traditionalists (Born 1925–1945) 

The oldest cohort, and an increasingly small percentage of the workforce, Traditionalists are characterised by their dependability, company loyalty and preference for a personal touch in communication. They value respect, recognition and the opportunity to pass on their wisdom and insights to coworkers. 

In the next part of this series, Page Outsourcing explores how various generations react to the different facets of employer branding. To read part two now, click here

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