Today’s job market and modern workforce includes not one, not two, no, not three, but four different generations. The Silent Generation or Traditionalists were born in the mid 20s to the 40s, the Baby Boomers were born 1946 to 1964, Generation X was born in the 60s and 70s, and the Millennials have been born since 1980. Workers born in different generations mean workers with different life experiences, values, interests, and skill sets. Think of your grandma working with your uncle Jim and her granddaughter Pamela in a busy modern workplace taking care of customers or creating new products and services. How would you work with a group like that? And what does that have to do with Jobvite?
The New Realities of the Working World
All of today’s workers, younger, older, men, women, and minorities alike, face new realities in the working world, as do the employers they work for. Those realities include extremely short job tenure in temp work, contract work, and project work thanks to persistent high unemployment and an extremely competitive job market according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and job seekers’ ability and willingness to look for new job opportunities online 24/7 with social media and mobile technology.
Those kinds of stark realities put pressure on work groups made up of different generations that may not always understand each other or appreciate their differences. Short tenure and always-on job search means that employees don’t have as much invested in loyalty to give their best all the time or be a productive team member. It also means that employers must work harder to develop an engaging workplace and culture and help employees work together successfully and productively so they’ll want to work for the company and stay with their employers. New technology and tools such as social recruiting software like Jobvite make it easy and economical to make this happen.
Social recruiting software solutions company Jobvite operates on the new realities that require culture, benefits, and recruiting passive candidates who are probably happy in their current positions but nevertheless always have an ear to the ground with LinkedIn profiles, Google alerts on companies they’d love to work for, and opportunities that would provide the job stretch they want to round out their resumes. Reaching candidates in this atmosphere means thinking about recruiting like a marketer according to Jobvite CEO Dan Finnigan. Jobvite provides tools that include an applicant tracking system, recruiting CRM, candidate engagement, and a social employee referral system.
Different Generations Need Different Communications
Communication conflicts cause problems with working relationships and lost and reduced productivity. Older workers resent the lack of face-to-face and telephone contact from younger workers who prefer texting and emailing. Younger workers don’t have the patience to plan for closer communication and feel they are being efficient and productive with digital contacts. Too much lengthy and formal written communication from employers may be ignored by millennials who prefer information in quick and visual formats, while Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation may want to have a paper copy they can touch and carry with them.
Employers with mixed-age workforces need to understand how to communicate with different generations for the best results. The new workplace often houses four generations under the same roof who complete projects together, work productively in teams, and understand each other to accomplish company goals. Jobvite chief marketing officer Kimberly Kasper knows about the challenges of communications in the world of work, saying mobile technology is part of the reason for changes and conflicts. Younger people don’t use cell phones for actual phone calls as much as older generations who may not like or even have texting options. Kasper cites a Nielson study that says social network usage now exceeds email and has made communication more social, so employers have to communicate with workers the way they are communicating, not try to make workers accept one style of formal communication.
Bridge the Gaps
Bridge the gaps in different generations in the workplace with technology and training. Collaborative recruiting and retention software like Jobvite makes recruiting and communicating with all types of candidates quicker and easier with social networks. Provide training in areas including generational differences, managing a generationally diverse workgroup, and how different generations communicate. With new technology and supportive resources, employers can bridge the gaps in their workforce skills and understanding of how to work together successfully and productively when employees have different backgrounds, values, and work styles.
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.