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Generational Leadership

Bringing Out the Best: Recruitment Strategies to Reach Across the Generations

Recruitment Strategies to Reach Across the Generations

Everyone knows that recruiting and retaining good employees is what makes or breaks a business. To do that, you have to cast a wide net. Recruiting across the generations gets you a wider selection of candidates so that you can cherry pick the best. Many recruitment strategies will be the same regardless of the generation of the person that is applying, but there are a couple of differences to keep in mind to broaden your pool.

Traditionalists bring experience and expertise to the job. Many are patient and very conscientious. They often have the ability to step right into a position and get to work, whereas younger employees may need more training to get up to speed. However, many traditionalists fear exclusion from the pool of applicants because of their age. Consider adding language to your job ad to the effect of “Experienced individuals are especially encouraged to submit an application” and “We welcome employees of all ages to apply.” You may also want to consider part-time work as an option for this generation.

Boomers are often ready to try new things with their careers. Many are looking for a second or third career to give them new meaning and provide them with new challenges. They are by no means ready to retire just yet! Their transferable skills make them great candidates for a new position. At the same time, many Boomers are looking for more flexibility in their new jobs, so if that is something that you can offer, be sure to highlight it in your ad. To recruit Boomers, reach out to some of the job sites directly targeting them, such as

Generation X is ready to move. They typically have their resumes polished and up to date just in case a better or more secure opportunity opens up. Many are looking for jobs that offer work-life balance. They also want a career path that overcomes the glass ceiling created by Boomers in leadership positions. Highlight what you have to offer them by way of training and development as well as any work-life balance programs that you have in place. Know that Generation X will do due diligence and reconnaissance on their own, so make sure that your website and internet presence reflects your brand as an employer.

Millennials or Generation Y are excited to work and like their (usually) Boomer parents want jobs with companies that offer them meaning. They will often consider the social or environmental good of your company side by side with opportunities to be mentored and to work in teams where they are part of the bigger picture. Keep in mind that the older members of this generation are already moving into lower level leadership positions and expect that to be part of their career paths.

Many Millennials will look for detailed information about your company and will freely share with one another what they like and don’t like about you as an employer. Recruiting Millennials means targeting their entire support team, including their parents, friends, and peers since they rely on them to navigate their careers. Peer recruitment incentives to existing employees, interactive pre-recruitment conversations on Twitter and Facebook, and knowing what has to say about your company should all be part of your recruitment strategies. Be open and transparent about all aspects of the job, including salary and tasks in the job ad as well as who to contact for more information.

Recruiting across the generations is crucial to your success. Treat everyone with equal respect, broaden your recruitment strategies to reach a wider pool across the generations, and you will continue to build a pool of employees to support your business!

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About Dr. Annika Hylmö

Dr. Annika Hylmö is an Organizational Strategy Consultant and Executive and Leadership Coach with The Insight Generation. Annika has a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication and a M.A. in International Communication. She can be contacted at

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Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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