HR Insights

Hiring for Multi-Generational Diversity

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January 15, 2013


Hiring for Generational DiversityArticles on ethnic or gender diversity and hiring have been popular for the past few decades. However, one emerging trend to consider when hiring a diverse workplace is generational diversity – hiring people of different ages and generations. In this post, we’d like to address ways you can begin to make your company’s workforce more generationally diverse. In future blog posts, we’ll help you address hiring, training and effectively managing the career success for those in a specific generational segment.

With seniors, Baby Boomers (boomers), Generation X (Xers) and Generation Y (Millennials), an organization could potentially have employees hailing from four distinct generations.  When employing your ethnically diverse team, HR managers and company executives must recognize how each of these segments differ, and hire accordingly. Some things to consider about each generation:

  • Values: While seniors and boomers may value loyalty, dependability, and respect, Xers and Millennials are more open to change and may enjoy perks or a work/life balance.
  • Skills:  Younger generations tend to be more technologically savvy, while older generations generally have more on-the-job experience.
  • Job roles: Millennials and Xers are open to new leadership roles, and are comfortable managing individuals of any generation. However, some Boomers and Seniors may struggle with feeling inadequate as younger team members begin taking on management roles.
  • Workplace preferences: Boomers and seniors may appreciate more face-to-face communication, as well as following a routine task list, whereas Xers and Millennials are accustomed to switching gears often throughout the day, and may prefer electronic communication and a fun, engaging atmosphere.
  • Personalities: Boomers and seniors tend to be more cautious decision-makers, as well as self-directed and determined workers. Xers are very entrepreneurial, yet also autonomous workers. Millenials are optimistic and energetic in their early careers.

Hiring a candidate in order for your company to become more generationally diverse should not be the driving force behind your HR decisions. However, during the hiring and interview process, your company should take generational characteristics into account to get clearer picture of the candidate. In doing so, you can determine whether or not the candidate is a fit for your position’s requirements, as well as your company’s workplace and team environment. Keeping all of these generational variances in mind will help you relate better to your potential hire, and make a more informed decision.