By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Harnessing the strength of a multi-generational workforce is powerful and provides a distinct advantage for your company. The step that comes before that, though, is recruiting a multi-generational workforce. We’re seeing a huge shift in the how, when and even why we engage job seekers and it’s largely due to changing demographics. These days, workforces are broken down into these five generations:

Traditionalists (Born 1922-1934)
Making up 13 percent of the workforce, traditionalists are older and more experienced, conform to the rules and sometimes have a tough time adopting technology.

Boomers (Born 1944-1960)
Just over a quarter of today’s workforce is made up of boomers. People in this group tend to be optimistic workaholics and are content with old-school methods of keeping notes and staying organized.

Generation X (Born 1961-1980)
Generation X makes up almost 20 percent of the workforce and is realistic, results oriented and fun. Many in this group have started their own businesses after seeing their parents give too much to a company and get too little in return.

Generation Y (Born 1981-2000)
Making up the largest segment of today’s workforce at almost 28 percent, generation Y is competitive, confident, socially conscious and tech savvy. This generation is the future of workplaces.

Generation Z (Born 2001-present)
While this generation isn’t currently in the workforce (and therefore makes up zero percent of it), they will start being recruited as early as next year when their oldest members turn 14. They truly are digital natives and will present exciting and unique recruiting challenges.

What does it all mean?
In order to engage these very diverse audiences, recruiting and talent acquisition teams must build recruitment strategies that are unique to each. After all, what reaches a 14 year old will probably not do much for a 60 year old, and vice versa. Now more than ever, we must be calculated yet flexible and above all, strategic.

Try these four tactics to reach and recruit a multi-generational workforce:

Start talking and listening
Whether intentional or not, you likely already have a multi-generational workforce right outside your office walls. Start surveying, talking and listening to them. They are your in-house experts for where, why and how their generation is seeking opportunities and what they’re looking for.

Keep up with the times
Researching trends and competition will be vital to standing out. Recruiting a multi-generational workforce requires engaging your target candidates better, faster and with a more unified strategy than you ever have before.

See it and speak it
In order to stay on track strategically, you must visualize your goals and then plan how to get there. The first step to understanding what success is to understand what it looks like. Develop your plan and write it down.

Monitor and measure
The last step of your strategic plan (before it starts all over – it is a never-ending cycle after all) should be to use metrics and analytics to guide changes & monitor success stories. Measure against your goals, readjust as needed and start over again, hopefully becoming more successful each time.

Human capitol can either be the driving force behind your company’s success or a major contributor to its struggle. Accept the challenge and use today’s changing demographics to your advantage.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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