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Your Cornerstone—Your People                                        Recruiting, Hiring, and Managing a                    ...
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Recruiting, Hiring, and Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce


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Printing Industries of America 2013 Forecast Magazine published Jerry Scher's article on Recruiting, Hiring, and Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce.

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Recruiting, Hiring, and Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce

  1. 1. Your Cornerstone—Your People Recruiting, Hiring, and Managing a Multi-Generational Similarities Multi-Generational Workforce and Differences Baby Boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964, this group has Jerry Scher, Founder and Principal been described as the “now generation”; self-indulgent with a need Peak Focus, LLC for immediate gratification and focused on gathering material things. 404-931-9291 They define themselves by the work that they do, have a strong work ethic, and channel their energy into their careers and jobs. They are loyal and committed to the organizations they work for, are highly competitive, and have a self-improvement focus. They see themselves Our industry is continuing to experience a major transition resulting as leaders while challenging the status quo. They have considerable in a significant decline in actual print revenue and a reduction in the knowledge and tested experience and want to be respected and number of companies engaged in commercial printing. The “experts” recognized for what they have accomplished. At this phase of their consistently remind us that this evolutionary change will continue, careers, many of them are close to retirement but still want to, or have and while the “profit leaders” are once again achieving more accept- to, continue working. However, they want a more flexible schedule, able profits, more than 75% of companies are experiencing less-than- enabling them to contribute while enjoying more free time. acceptable revenue and profitability levels. Technologies that enable clients to communicate without print, while providing significant and Generation X. Born between 1965 and 1977, this group expects perceived benefits, keep on expanding. And print as a communication their jobs to be learning experiences and have a great desire to vehicle continues to lose market share. gain new skills with each assignment. They see themselves as free agents, avoiding the more traditional career paths. They are risk tak- Industry experts continually advise you how to “remodel” your busi- ers, independent, and goal oriented. They tend to be entrepreneur- ness, what technology to purchase, what products and services to ial, innovative, and results oriented. As the first generation growing provide, and which strategic relationships to search for. However, up in the Internet-based economy, they experienced the highs and no matter what approach you take, there are still a few basic lows of the Internet boom and bust. Gen Xs want the responsibil- requirements you must adhere to for future success and sustain- ity of managing a project and want to impact the organizations ability. As senior executives, we are ultimately responsible for four they are engaged with. They want constructive, worthwhile feed- basic requirements. We must (1) develop our company’s strategy; back. They are technologically savvy and learn new things quickly.2013 FORECAST PART 1: TRENDS, TACTICS (2) provide the best human capital; (3) ensure the most effective Because they value lifestyle choices, they prefer more flexible work execution of our strategies; and (4) provide the financial resources environments and will move around until they find the right mix. that are necessary to achieve our agreed-upon goals and objectives. Generation Y or Millenniums. Born between 1978 and the As difficult as it can be to implement and execute our primary early 1990s, this group likes challenging work, believes strongly in responsibilities, there are additional challenges we face in inte- education, and wants to be trained and coached. They want chal- grating three generational groups of employees—Baby Boomers, lenging assignments but want to enjoy the work they are involved Generation X, and Generation Y/Millenniums. As if recruiting the in. They tend to be impatient, have unrealistic expectations, and an best talent wasn’t difficult enough, we also have to contend with inflated view of themselves. They tend to be risk averse and socially unifying these dissimilar generations into an organized, creative conscious. They are the digital generation, highly independent with team. Although the potential for tension exists, the opportunity for high technology competence. Gen Ys like to be given responsibil- success is far greater if you welcome the differences and implement ity and welcome feedback from their managers. They easily take strategies to channel these generational characteristics.60
  2. 2. credit for a team’s outcome but will blame others when projects are on recognition and mutual respect in which each generation canunsuccessful. make diverse but substantial contributions.Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining a As management, our role includes planning, organizing, staffing,Mixed-Generation Workforce leading, and controlling. When you must integrate the efforts ofConsidering the differences described above, it is clear these distinc- employees with such differences in how they view work and whattive generations seek diverse physical, social, and emotional experi- benefits they look for in their jobs, communicating these differ-ences in their work. They respond to authority, tend to be motivated, ences so that they are aware and understand the potential con-communicate, and give and receive feedback differently. So when tributions from each generation is crucial. You must provide greatrecruiting, jobs need to be described and presented to them with clarity as to the overall mission and individual projects, making suredifferent perspectives. When seeking the finest talent, you must be they understand the role each individual plays. You must be espe-able to align the job requirements with behavioral competencies cially clear with management’s expectations while tapping into theand work preferences (interests) that coincide with their interests strengths each group brings to the work experience.and preferences. As companies require a more collaborative, teamapproach, it is critical this aspect of the job be communicated. The Boomers, with great knowledge and experience, can provide a historical perspective for Gen Ys, while the Gen Ys can assist theFor Gen X and Y candidates interested in lifelong learning, the train- Boomers with the technology advances. The Gen Xs want to lead,ing and coaching available will be a significant attraction. If it is so aligning Boomers as mentors can create a positive bond betweennot available, it may be difficult to attract these candidates. As the them. Engage representatives of each group in dialog focused ongraphic industry becomes more technology-dependent, Gen X and their differences and similarities so they will be able to recognizeY candidates can be recruited from related industries more effec- how they can assist one another. Discuss career planning with themtively because of their strengths and interest in technology. so they can understand what their futures could look like. Consid- ering the large numbers of boomers that will retire over the nextThe Harrison Assessment Technology™ focuses partially on deter- ten years, tap into their experience and knowledge and enable themining a candidate’s work preferences and interests (http:// Gen Xs and Gen Ys to prepare for their future roles, These include teamwork, col- Remember, Boomers define themselves by their work, Gen Xs findlaboration, communication competence, organizational compatibil- security by developing diversified skills and competence, and Genity, and a need for structure or autonomy. While each generation can Ys really want to make a difference with the work in which they arebe described, individuals should still be assessed based on interests engaged.and behavioral competencies. The ability to integrate employees fromall three generations into an aligned, motivated workforce is critical. Final NotesHaving greater information and insight will enable you to recruit and Based on all of the studies, it is clear there are significant differenceshire more effectively and retain the valuable talent you already have. in values, motivations, and impact that work has in the lives of this 2013 FORECAST PART 1: TRENDS, TACTICS multi-generational workforce. And as management, it is essentialIntegrating and Managing a we recognize and acknowledge these unique perspectives. At theMixed-Generation Workforce same time, we must recognize that, in addition to considering theThe real challenge in working with and managing these three dif- skills, competences, and knowledge each group can contribute.ferent generations is recognizing their differences and determin- your ability to build a cohesive team is of the utmost how you can effectively align and unite them for a commoncause. Each group and the individuals that make up these groups Assessing each employee as to their suitability for their specific jobcan make a unique contribution to your organization. You must cre- and how they will fit into your game plan is essential. By using a val-ate an environment that allows them to understand the different idated suitability assessment you can more effectively predict howtalents, competencies, and contributions that each generation can each employee can and will perform within your company’s culture.make to fulfill the organization’s mission. It’s the work they do that About Peak Focus: People. Performance. Profitability. Peak Focus assists com-connects them, and you must establish a collaborative effort built panies in identifying, attracting, and assessing talent, developing people, and strengthening teams. 61