Towards building a strong talent pipeline - Understanding the millennials & Gen-Xers

According to reports, India will have the youngest working population by 2021, with GenX and millennials comprising the majority of the young workforce. The country will have 64% of its working population in the age group of 20-35 years.

Generational groups have different norms and behaviors that impact the workplace - positively and negatively. Each generation believes that its work ethic is better than that of subsequent generations. Each also believes that theirs is sufficient and appropriate.

The unique characteristics of the Gen-Xers and the millennials demand different strategic approaches to their recruitment, development and retention. Download our research to learn how to attract right talent.

Building a strong talent pipeline, thus, depends, to a large extent, on the HR’s ability to understand Gen-X, millennials and ways to create harmony among these two generations.

Attracting, developing and retaining the Gen-Xer

Born between 1965 and 1978, the GenX employee is competently independent and tech-savvy. Having grown up in a largely hands-on culture, our research reveals that this generation is more self-managing and strives for the work-life balance.

Our research reveals that gen-xers are more entrepreneurial in their work style than their predecessors. For them, work needs to be challenging. Career plateaus in their career are acceptable only if they know and like their options ahead. They look for meaningful time and are strongly driven by work-life balance.

As this generation does not respond well to bureaucracy and tenure-based rewards, companies may need to find intelligent ways to give them feedback that still matters to them. One-on-one time with them can create relationships and trust. A predominant characteristic of this generation is that of problem-solving, they look to be included in decision-making. In short, leveraging their self-managing capabilities holds the key. 

Attracting, developing and retaining the millennials

Millennials, born between 1980 and 1994, grew up with greater access to technology and are acknowledged to have more potential than previous generations. They are adaptable and flexible, and are more technology sophisticated than their X counterparts.

Our research reveals that good training and global career opportunities lure them at the workplace. With their characteristics, both generations bring value to the workplace, and chances are that the Gen-Xer will higher up in the organisational hierarchy. Therefore, it’s essential that their synergies be complemented and diversities managed.

Attaining their goals quickly is important to the millennial, and organisations need to share possible career paths openly and often. Offering the latest technology, providing positive feedback and constructive criticism, being good corporate citizens, and injecting flexibility and fun are important for the millennial.

Different strokes of best practices

Each organisation has different priorities and will differ in their requirements of the generational mix. As competition for experienced leadership increases, so will the entry of the combined Gen-X and millenials into the workforce.

Recruiting processes need to effectively leverage multiple channels, including social media. Training must be innovative to integrate mentoring and peer-to- peer learning. Organisations should involve employees in understanding what skills and competencies they need to be most effective on their job – feedback mechanisms and connectivity are critical ‘must-haves’.

download the Randstad employer brand research 2017

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