Skip to content Skip to navigation

Millennials, Gen-X and Baby Boomer Hiring Tips

March 29, 2016
by Tim Tolan
| Reprints

We recently completed a summary of the new workforce in the U.S. marketplace to better understand how our audiences think, react, understand and respond to us as search consultants. Our marketing director, Alexandra Hill, did a great deal of research and it’s eye-opening to say the least.

To attract the IT talent you need for your team, consider the following:

Millennials: Today there are 74.3 million 18- to 34-year-olds, accounting for nearly 23.5 percent of the population, according to the most recent data from the U.S Census Bureau. They comprise the current largest demographic.

Millennials are known as digital natives, being the only generation thus far growing up with digital media rather than adapting to it. When hiring from this pool of candidates you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Micro-targeting–One size doesn’t fit all- 43 percent of millennials are non-white meaning accounting for diversity is key.
  • Authenticity–Brands shouldn’t try too hard. Create organic material.
  • Engagement–This generation is more receptive to brands that make them feel like they are a part of the process. Be relevant.
  • Influencers–Social influencers are a good way to reach millennials.
  • Mobile marketing–Make sure landing pages are optimized for mobile and have a large call-to-action button.
  •  Target social groups–Millennials are the most non-traditional generation so far, and they don’t value traditional life-stage advertising. “Family” and “community” being the first life stages where different meanings come to play.
  •  Have a social media presence–Most millennials will research companies by looking them on their social media channels.

Millennials on average react and engage better with companies who revolve their social media campaigns around the following: “Life is Short”, “Dreams Come True”, “Never Give Up”, “Fresh Point of View”, and “Unexpected Twists.”

Generation X: Unlike the generations before and after, there isn’t a strong identity attached to those born between 1965 and 1980. As they reach middle age, this generation is truly caught in the middle of the battles between emerging and digital versus traditional and analog. When reaching out to this segment you must take into consideration what they respond best to, which includes the following:

  • Send an email–Email campaigns are seen as hopelessly old-fashioned by many Millennials and seen as too new for some Boomers. For Generation X, however, email is considered the gold standard for personal communications as well as business.
  • Appeal to their financial responsibility–Gen X has the highest spending power of all living generations, which is even more impressive when you consider its size: it makes up only 25 percent of the U.S. population, yet they claim 31 percent of its total income. Saving money is a huge priority for its members.
  •  Video marketing–This generation has a big interest in world news and politics so creating “edutainment” videos of products brings more traffic to a brand.
  • Align yourself with their values–Their values include independency, family, stability.

Boomers: Today, there are more than 77 million Baby Boomers—people born between 1946 and 1964. In 2016, Americans 50 and older will represent 45 percent of the population, and will control approximately 70 percent of the wealth. To connect with Boomers we have to consider that they are 50-, 60-, and 70-something consumers; unlike their children and grandchildren, they are not all using smartphones and the latest apps. The best ways to reach Boomers include:

  • Understand that not all Boomers are alike–Target those most likely that identify with communication channels that will efficiently reach them.  Think LinkedIn.
  • Be relatable–Honest and factual offerings are interesting to them.
  • Skip the hard sell–Boomers don’t like to be “sold “something.

Happy hunting!