Attracting a Multigenerational Workforce

Attracting a multigenerational workforce is a priority amongst hiring managers and CEOs. Tempering youthful exuberance with experience is a great way to ensure that your business takes on a creative approach to problem-solving while maintaining operational efficiency.

But actually landing talented employees of different generations is easier said than done. Hiring managers often put off one generation while trying to attract the attention of another and creating multigenerational job materials requires a coordinated approach.



Benefits of a Multigenerational Workforce

Contrary to stereotypes, older employees can be more creative and flexible than their younger peers. Likewise, younger employees may have better critical thinking skills than more experienced colleagues. So, what, exactly are the benefits of a multigenerational workforce?

A multigenerational workforce leads to greater innovation as each generation has grown up with different values and skill sets. This means that employees from different generations complement each other well. Usually, this occurs when younger folks have better technological skills while more experienced employees may have better industry knowledge.

Attracting and supporting a multigenerational workforce also gives you a great pipeline of future talent. When younger employees join your company, they’ll see that upward mobility is possible in your organizational structure and they will benefit from interacting with older peers who have been successful in your business.

Challenges

Multigenerational workplaces are more innovative. However, they aren’t without their challenges.

Differences in values and expectations may exist between generations like Millenials and Gen Zers. These differences can present themselves in strange ways, as conflict may arise due to perceived differences between age groups.

Multigenerational workforces may also be prone to stereotyping. Popular belief dictates that young folks should be full of energy and ideas while older employees are calming agents in the office. Oftentimes, this paradigm harms productivity and may be resented in the workplace. 

Creating the Right Environment

You can only expect to attract a multigenerational workforce if you lay a foundation that supports workers of any age.

You can cultivate a supportive, multigenerational work environment by actively dispelling myths about age and preventing ageism in the workplace. This is particularly important if the leaders in your business are overlooking individual differences and treating people differently based on their age.

Aaron Raby, leadership development and professional coach, drives this point home by stating that leadership based on age “can be a good starting point, but you don’t want to hinge your thoughts on an employee on assumptions that may or may not be true of them.”

Instead, try to prioritize flexibility in your workplace and give folks a chance to engage in cross-generational collaboration. This will promote an “open source” environment for new ideas and problem-solving and prove to employees of all ages that they are valued for who they are, rather than their age.

Applicants across all age groups will appreciate your intentional approach to cross-generational leadership and talented applicants will be more likely to notice your job posting.

Team-Based Organizational Structure

Adjusting age-related expectations is a good way to prevent ageism in the workplace. However, even the most well-meaning of managers can fall foul of generational faux-pas if your organizational structure doesn’t support workers of all ages.

Having a clear organizational structure is also important during the recruitment process. Talented applicants will be keen to see how your organization is structured to support collaboration and teamwork, rather than rigid hierarchical structures.

You can better align your organizational structure with your multigenerational goals by choosing a team-based structure. Team-based organizational structures are great for collaboration and inspire productivity in the workplace. They put a premium on work experience rather than seniority, meaning younger folks have the opportunity to move up if they tick the boxes.

Implementing a team-based structure looks great during every stage of the recruitment process and will stand out on your next job posting.

Multigenerational Job Postings

Once you’ve built a work environment that supports a multigenerational workforce, it is time to start advertising to attract employees from different age ranges. You don’t have to rewrite the book on successful recruitment strategies, but you should tweak your materials to better suit a multigenerational audience.

When writing multigenerational job postings, include any examples of organizational initiatives that are likely to appeal to a wide range of folks. For example, if you fund yoga classes or self-development workshops, be sure to include these details as both young and older folks will be interested.

If you use media-based materials (videos, photographs, social media posts) during the job search, be sure to include a diverse range of ages in your content. Folks may be more likely to apply for a position if they see people in their age group in the job posting.

Once you have materials that appeal to a multigenerational audience, post the ad to as many relevant venues as possible. Younger folks may be more likely to spot hiring campaigns you run on social media, while older employees may be more likely to search via recruiters. The key is to cover all your bases to ensure that everyone has a chance to apply.

Conclusion

Attracting a multigenerational workforce is important for the productivity and creativity of your business. You can appeal to a range of prospective employees by creating a work environment that is conducive to multigenerational employees. Once you’ve built the right culture, advertising on social media, job boards, and via recruiters is a great way to ensure that you attract applicants of all ages.

Featured image by Unsplash

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