What Generation of Candidates Are You Attracting?


Currently, three generations of workers make up the job landscape—baby boomers, Gen-X, and Gen-Y or millennials. By 2020, one third of the workforce will be millennials as baby boomers age out. While each group gravitates toward different things when looking for a job, there are also similarities. Each generation, including baby boomers, uses mobile devices for different aspects of job searching and obtaining information. However, the percentage of use by millennials is much higher. Here’s how to appeal to each generation, from where to advertise jobs to incentives and more.


Post jobs for all generations – The younger generations are going to take every advantage of the technology that is available today to make the job search easier and more successful. However, you will still need to utilize advertising such as local and trade-related newspapers, social media, as well as create a job board on your company website; providing an easy way for potential candidates to apply and stay up-to-date on the most current jobs. Baby boomers and Gen-X will gravitate towards job boards on your website and newspapers, but Gen-X will also use social media sites, as these workers are still considered “30-somethings” and have become more tech savvy. For the younger generations, sites such as LinkedIn, Jobster, Media Bistro, and recruiting firm websites have been rated as being utilized three times more than traditional job searching methods. And, as social media continues to expand, so too will available resources and creativity of companies to reach out to new candidates.


What each generation looks for – You must remember that each generation of workers comes from a different era. They value different ideals, thoughts, concerns, and priorities. Using certain language to entice each generation will be key. Baby boomers are less attracted to status and money; they value “years of experience,” flexible work hours (as most are working toward retirement or are already part time), strong healthcare packages, and expertise. Gen-X strongly gravitates toward consistency, mission statements that resemble their own life goals, more work/life balance, and the ability to grow with a company. Gen-Y or millennials look for places that offer autonomy and telecommuting or flexible “work-from-home” options. Millennials are driving the cutting-edge technology industry and truly want creative, inspirational work atmospheres, but are also in the awkward phase of still trying to find their place in the workforce. Studies have shown many millennial workers are venturing out to form their own companies and brands. Engaging these candidates is going to take ingenuity; appealing strongly to their autonomous nature and need to leave an indelible mark.


While salary is key, it’s not the full solution – No matter what generation you are trying to entice, one similarity for all is the thinking that the amount of money offered is not what will win them over. Baby boomers, who value expertise and years of experience, are looking for salaries that compensate their experience but also integrate with very generous and top-notch healthcare packages. As they age out of the full-time working environment their priorities have shifted.


Gen-X, which inherited the age of “live to work,” is looking for salaries that meet the demands of the jobs they are being asked to do, but also balance a work/life philosophy. Gen-Xers fall into the mid 30s to late 40s age range, and are prioritizing the need to have more time with family and flexible work schedules. This will be a driving force for them when it comes time to discussing salaries.


For millennials, working from home is key. Millennials have been brought up in an era of opportunity and choice, so these candidates are not as concerned with how much they make (being of the mind-set that they will prosper and make money), but more about enjoying life and working to live. Many of these candidates will also be looking for healthy maternity and paternity packages as these workers fall into the mid 20s to mid 30s age range. Having watched their parents work long hours and come home depleted and unfulfilled, millennials truly strive to enjoy life and work harmoniously.


Salary packages are no longer straight-forward number negotiating; it’s all about tying in strong incentives to each salary package that match the generation you are interviewing.



PrideStaff Financial is one of the nation’s leading recruiting firms. We can help you discern what’s important to each working generation and how to meet candidates’ needs. Contact our financial consultants today and find out how we can help.