Our workforce has been dominated and shaped by the Baby Boomer generation for years, they have created benchmarks in experience and skill that generations below will have to live up to. As Baby Boomers begin to retire, trends in the workforce have begun to shift. In 2018 we’ve seen five different generations in the work place at the same time; Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials & Gen Z create a diverse group that is changing the workforce as we know it [Intel White Paper].
As Baby Boomers leave the workforce, there seems to be a gap in skills and experience that Millennials are unable to fill. While Baby Boomers are known for their strong workaholic ethic, Millennials have their own set of characteristics [Psychology Today]. Millennials have been characterized as flexible and fluid employees – they tend to look for opportunities with rapid growth and companies with flexible hours and remote opportunities as they try to get away from the workaholic mentality of the Baby Boomer generation. To attract new talent, companies have begun to change their hiring practices to incorporate benefit incentives that interest the Millennial generation such as health and wellness incentives, additional travel opportunities and flexible work schedules.
For the first time we are seeing a new generation enter the workplace and Generation Z will enter in a big way – Gen Z accounts for 61 million people in the U.S., a number that’s already larger than Generation X and two-thirds the size of Baby Boomers [msn.com]. While Gen Z tends to get lumped together with Millennials, they bring something new to the workforce. We are seeing trends that Generation Z values the importance of mentoring and appreciate predictability. A generation that grew up on social media and smart phones will bring new technology advancements to the workforce but may struggle with conflict resolution and face-to-face collaboration [Inc.]. There is still much that is unknown about Generation Z, as more Gen Z-ers enter the workforce, hiring managers will have to evaluate hiring to attract new talent.
Each generation brings its own skill set and way of doing things. As generations like the baby boomers phase out, companies will be forced to re-evaluate their benefit, compensation and training programs to better suit incoming generations of workers. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses to each generation, so your company can attract the right talent as it grows.