Employer branding the scale that balances workplace generational diversity

Today's workplace is a mixed bag of generations with traditionalists, baby boomers, Gen X, and the millennials coexisting in a multidimensional corporate environment.

Generational diversity has become commonplace with baby boomers following conventional methods of working and millennials using their zeal for innovation to introduce newer ways of conducting business. Whatever the generation, an organisation's human capital is influenced by the employer brand – whether it is attracting and retaining skilled talent from outside the organisation or motivating the existing resource pool to outperform themselves and contribute to the organisation's success.

A clearly articulated employer branding strategy is the primary tool an organisation can use to create a positive impact on its employees, in turn making them strong ambassadors for the brand on diverse channels of communication.

Attracting a skilled multi-generational workforce calls for a customised approach

Every generation of employees comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, and effective HR management is about understanding the inherent differences between the generations and devising strategies accordingly.

When hiring people to fill key positions in the organisation, the same strategies can't work for different generations of employees. Each generation has its individual attributes and approaches towards the employment process, and organisations need to bear this in mind while devising talent attraction strategies.

Attracting a skilled multi generational workforce

Consider these statistics based on our research:

  • Recognition for work drives 29% of women and a workforce aged 45+ to stay with their employer
  • 38% of production workers stay for career prospects and 27% of office workers stay for flexible working arrangements
  • 36% of people with lower education degrees stay only if the company is financially healthy
  • 19% of people in the 18-24 age group need interesting jobs if they are to stay with their current employer

When recruiting different generations of employees, HR managers need to answer the following questions:

  • What motivates employees from various age groups to perform better at the workplace?
  • What are the individual employee perceptions of the organisation as an employer and as a brand? What are the employee expectations from the organisation?

Generational diversity calls for the selection of appropriate channels of communication

Creating a strong employer brand and defining powerful messaging is just part of the story. Organisations need to communicate their brand message to existing and potential employees through various channels of communication. It is here that a thorough understanding of the communication behaviours of various generations can help in selecting the right channel to publish the brand message.

While traditionalists and baby boomers are more inclined to rely on conventional channels of communication such as HR announcements and notification emails, periodic update mailers, and employee newsletters, millennials being the more technologically and socially aware generation, are prone to leveraging social media and other online channels of communication. Organisations need to keep this in mind while sending targeted messaging catering to the specific set of employees and prospective candidates, to ensure that the employer brand reaches the right people through the right communication channels.

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