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Bridging the Generational Gap:

Overcoming Obstacles When Hiring Millennials and Gen Xers

Looking to hire in order to support your business expansion? Learn how to understand, attract and retain young employees who, despite having a very different philosophy of life, may bring your organization untapped potential of growth and success.

In this article, we will explore the challenges businesses face when hiring Millennials and Gen Xers and how to overcome them - knowing that Millennials and Gen Z currently make up about 38% of the global workforce and this percentage will rise to about 58% by 2030. (Source)

Understanding the Differences Between Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z

Gen Xers were born between 1965-1980 and grew up during a time of economic uncertainty and social change. They are independent, self-sufficient, and value work-life balance. Millennials, born between 1981-1996, were raised during a time of rapid technological advancement and globalization. They are tech-savvy, entrepreneurial, and prioritize work that aligns with their values. Gen Z, born between 1997-2012, are the newest generation in the workforce. They are digital natives, socially conscious, and value diversity and inclusion.

Common Misconceptions and Stereotypes About Each Generation

Many employers fall in the trap of stereotyping each generation. For example, Gen Xers are often labeled as cynical and disengaged, while Millennials are seen as entitled and self-absorbed. These stereotypes are not only unfair, but they can also hinder communication and collaboration among generations.
The truth is, each generation has its unique strengths and weaknesses. For example, Millennials are known for their ability to adapt quickly to new technologies, while Gen Xers are known for their independent and adaptable nature. By recognizing and valuing these differences, you can create a more collaborative and inclusive work environment.

Overcoming Obstacle When Hiring Millennials and Gen Xers

One of the biggest challenges businesses face when hiring Millennials and Gen Xers is bridging the communication gap. Each generation has its own way of communicating, which can lead to misunderstandings and conflict. To overcome this obstacle, your organization should focus on creating a collaborative work environment. Encouraging open communication, active listening, and feedback can help bridge the gap and foster a culture of inclusion.
Another obstacle is the perception of work-life balance. Millennials and Gen Z often prioritize work-life balance and may be less willing to work long hours or sacrifice their personal time for work. On the other hand, Gen Xers may have different expectations and values around work and may be willing to work longer hours or take on more responsibilities.
To overcome these obstacles, it's essential to create a collaborative work environment that values and respects each generation's perspectives and values. This can include providing flexible work arrangements, offering professional development opportunities, and fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect.

Bridging the Communication Gap Between Generations

One of the best ways to bridge the communication gap is to encourage cross-generational collaboration. Pairing employees from different generations on projects can help them learn from each other's strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, your organization can provide training and development programs that focus on communication skills, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution.

Embracing Change and Innovation in the Workplace

Millennials and Gen Z are known for their passion for change and innovation. They want to work for companies that are forward-thinking, socially responsible, and embrace technology. To attract and retain their talent, you should invest in technology, provide opportunities for professional development, and foster a culture of innovation.

Other Ways to Attract and Retain Millennial and Gen X Talent

You can also focus on creating a culture of belonging and engagement. This can be achieved by providing opportunities for career development, offering flexible work arrangements, and investing in diversity and inclusion programs. Additionally, the executive team should recognize and reward employees for their contributions and provide a competitive salary and benefits package. More than any other generation, GenXers want to make money without compromising too much their personal lives – and they expect to be rewarded.

The Role of Technology in Bridging the Generational Gap

Technology can be a powerful tool in bridging the generational gap. Millennials and Gen Z are digital natives and expect to work in a digital workplace. By investing in technology, your business can provide a more efficient and collaborative work environment. Additionally, technology can provide opportunities for hybrid or remote work, which are definitely key words for Millennial and Gen X talent.

Conclusion: The Benefits of a Multi-Generational Workforce

Bridging the generational gap in the workplace is essential to attracting and retaining Millennial and Gen X talent. Understanding the differences between these generations and creating a culture of collaboration, innovation, and inclusion will attract more of them. By embracing change and investing in technology, your organization can create a more efficient and productive work environment. Ultimately, a multi-generational workforce can provide your business with a wealth of knowledge, skills, and perspectives, leading to better decision-making and increased innovation.

NOTE: If you need help bridging the generational gap in your workplace, contact us today. We can provide hiring solutions to help attract and retain Millennial & Gen X talent who have what it takes to contribute to your business expansion plans.

Best success,

Patrick Valtin,
CEO Hirebox

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