The Multigenerational Workforce: Has Gen X Been Overlooked in the Workplace?

There’s a new generation moving into leadership roles that’s poised to change how things are done in the workplace. You may not hear as much about them as Baby Boomers or millennials, but Generation X is the silent workhorse that makes up over third of the workforce and over half of managers.  

So, who is Gen X and what exactly are they bringing to the workforce? Grab your flannel shirt, and let’s find out! The last in our series on the multigenerational workforce, this article explores what makes Gen X tick and how they’re stepping up to lead organisations into the future.  

Who are Gen Xers? 

Born between the early 1960s and 1980, this cohort came of age and entered the workforce in the shadow of the larger Baby Boomer generation. Now, as they move into management and leadership roles, Gen X is ready to put their own stamp on workplace culture. 

Growing up as latchkey kids in an era of change, Gen X professionals are more independent and adaptable than previous generations. Gen X entered the workforce during the rise of Silicon Valley and the dot com era, making them comfortable with the pace of technological advancement. For them, adopting new technology feels natural, and they are driving digital transformation across sectors. 

When it comes to the workplace, Gen X values authenticity, work-life balance and professional development. They respond better to flexible schedules that allow for caring for ageing parents and children and prefer managers that empathise with those priorities.  

According to a study by Stanford University, Gen X prefers to work from home 50% of the time, compared to Boomers at 35% and Gen Z at 45%. Make no mistake, Gen Xers are focused on results, they just believe there are many valid ways to achieve success beyond face time at the office.  

Having watched their parents climb the corporate ladder, Xers are focused on carving their own path at their own pace. This cohort is extremely hardworking with an innate sense of independence. If you want something done, hand it off to a Gen Xer and let them run with it. 

Gen Xers don’t pay much attention to rank and hierarchy. They prefer direct communication and are more likely to casually ping you on Slack than set up a formal meeting. But don’t mistake their informal style for a lack of drive. Generation X is extremely entrepreneurial and forge their own career paths rather than expect opportunities handed to them.  

Are Gen X Overlooked at Work? 

Gen X may be overlooked in the workplace due to their easy-going approach. In fact, 79% of Gen X says they’re forgotten in the workplace, overshadowed by younger and older workers. It’s hard to blame them, when Gen Xers are promoted at rates 20% to 30% slower than millennials, despite being strong candidates for leadership roles.  

As employers have paid a lot of attention to nurturing millennial talent in recent years, Gen X has gone underappreciated for their contributions to the workforce. With Gen X leading the Great Resignation as 37% more left their company in early 2022 compared to the year before, employers should concentrate on retaining and engaging this valuable cohort as they enter the second half of their careers.  

Move Over, Boomers: Here Comes Gen X 

As Gen X moves into boardrooms and leadership roles, we are starting to see their impact on workplace culture. Transparency and direct communication are in. Bureaucracy and hierarchy are out. Gone are the days of formal business attire and rigid top-down management. Today’s workplaces are more casual, flexible and egalitarian.  

Gen X leaders prefer to mentor and develop talent rather than micromanage. They lead by example and earn respect by rolling up their sleeves alongside their employees. Gen Xers believe the best way to achieve success is by empowering their team.  

How to Keep Gen Xers Happy in the Workplace 

Here’s how to help your Generation X colleagues gain success at work as they move into leadership positions: 

  • Offer flexibility: Gen Xers appreciate flexibility in their work hours and locations. Consider options like remote work, flexible schedules and job sharing. Plus, autonomy over their time is key. Don’t expect 24/7 availability from Gen X employees. They value their personal responsibilities outside of work and crave work-life balance. 
  • Provide opportunities for career development: Gen X is highly self-sufficient but still values feeling appreciated. Provide both informal and formal recognition—including promotions and leadership opportunities. Invest in professional training, mentoring programs and clear paths for career progression. 
  • Limit bureaucracy: Gen X resists rigid corporate structures and prefers collaborating in relaxed settings. Eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy that can hamper productivity and innovation. Empower Gen Xers to accomplish tasks independently. Provide opportunities to work on new initiatives and pilot programs. 

The Future of Work with Gen X at the Helm 

While perhaps overlooked when sandwiched between two larger generations, they bring a perfect blend of independence and adaptability to evolve workplace culture for the better. Talent leaders should take notice of Gen X’s entrepreneurial spirit and prioritisation of work-life balance and career progression.  

The skateboards may be gone, but Generation X is still the same pragmatic, diverse and ambitious cohort. Only now they are grown up and calling the shots.  

Read the rest of our Multigenerational Workforce series: 

The Power of Predictive Analytics in High-Volume Recruitment

By Amelia Krol, Business Analytics Lead

While navigating through high-volume recruitment processes, organisations often find themselves overwhelmed by the number of applications for a multitude of positions, ranging from entry-level roles to specialist positions. This can be a costly and time-consuming process that can damage the candidate experience and doesn’t guarantee candidate quality. This is where predictive analytics steps in, transforming the recruitment landscape.

Driven by advanced data analysis techniques and machine learning, predictive analytics offers a strategic advantage in managing high volumes of roles as well as ensuring the right fit.

How Does Predictive Analytics in Recruitment Work?

Predictive analytics involves the use of historical data, such as applicant resumes or CVs, interview feedback, performance data, and employee tenure to create models that predict future candidate success. Predictive analytics finds patterns and correlations within this data to identify characteristics that lead to successful hires. These indicators could include specific skills, educational background, work experience, and even personality traits that align with the company culture. This data-driven approach ensures a higher standard of candidate quality, as recruiters are guided towards individuals whose attributes align seamlessly with the organisation’s culture and role requirements.

Furthermore, this strategic deployment of predictive analytics doesn’t merely benefit the organisation; it elevates the candidate experience by matching applicants with roles that resonate with their skills and aspirations. As a result, candidates feel more engaged and valued throughout the recruitment journey, culminating in enhanced hiring outcomes and a positive brand reputation.

Predictive analytics presents itself not as a solution, but rather as a dynamic framework for continuous improvement. Organisations can leverage powerful analytics to determine fundamental employee attributes for specific roles, effectively managing the hurdles of volume hiring and retention. This involves harnessing predictive analytics insights to craft bespoke pathways that foster workforce growth. 

Predictive Analytics in Action

In late 2021, one of our hospitality clients, Merivale, faced the challenge of recruiting 800 roles within six weeks. Partnering with PeopleScout, they turned to Affinix™, our proprietary talent acquisition suite with includes Affinix Analytics. PeopleScout’s strategy involved deploying Affinix to swiftly source and categorise applicants based on role streams. To ensure quick turnarounds, a tech-powered approach was implemented, utilising video and phone interviews. Leveraging Affinix’s real-time analytics dashboards, candidate responses were screened using built-in AI-powered tools to dynamically filter them into qualified roles. Referrals from current staff were also encouraged through Affinix CRM tool. Despite the challenging talent market, PeopleScout achieved remarkable results a time-to-offer of just 3.36 days and a time-to-fill of 5.5 days. The collaboration’s success continues as they meet the client’s ongoing talent needs, emphasising the transformative role of Affinix’s analytics in the current market.

Several tools are employed for predictive analysis in recruitment, leveraging data-driven insights to enhance hiring decisions. Affinix seamlessly integrates AI, machine learning, digital interviewing and more. It’s a comprehensive solution for streamlining recruitment and enhancing candidate experience. Affinix encompasses various features, including AI Sourcing, which identifies passive candidates for each job posting. CRM optimisation and requisition management enable enhanced communication and talent pool creation based on skills and other factors. Moreover, Affinix Analytics provides job seeker analytics and operational metrics to understand the end-to-end recruitment process. The platform’s integration with HR technologies solidifies its holistic approach to talent management.

Making Informed Decisions about Predictive Analytics

Although promising, predictive analytics, and AI in general, can be perceived as being risky. The key concern is the potential of creating biased algorithms, which can limit diversity in the hiring process and create inequalities. Bias might be present in the historical data fed into the model, from which the algorithm learns. Additionally, the accuracy of predictive models could be compromised due to the constant changes in the recruitment industry as well as evolving organisational needs.

Moreover, the complexity of machine learning algorithms can decrease transparency in decision-making, which would make it challenging for candidates to understand the reasoning behind rejections. Furthermore, quantifying skills and abilities could be difficult for certain roles.

In 2018, a leading retailer released the results of hiring software that was developed internally. The AI scored female candidates lower than male candidates due to bias in the data used to train the model. The model was trained using the company’s historical hiring data, which mostly consisted of men. As a result, AI saw male candidates as preferable to female candidates.

Organisations considering using predictive analytics in recruitment should keep these issues in mind, particularly as they gather data that the models will use. If any bias is discovered by the predictive model, it’s an opportunity for you to introduce (or update) unconscious bias and diversity training to your hiring managers.

Changing the Recruitment Landscape with Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics in recruitment is a powerful force in changing the landscape, particularly in the context of high-volume hiring. The integration of historical data with cutting-edge HR technology optimises the recruitment process, enriches the caliber of selected candidates and ensures that talent acquisition supports the strategic objectives of the organisation. However, balancing the benefits and limitations of this approach is crucial for a responsible and effective application of predictive analytics in high-volume recruitment.  

Learn More About Affinix

Attracting Older Workers to Retail and Hospitality Jobs

According to a global study by Bain & Company, workers aged 55 and older make up over 25% of the workforce in G7 countries by 2031, making older workers one of the most in-demand talent pools for employers today. In the UK, the government launched a “returnership” initiative to inspire those over the age of 50 to come back to work or to seek a career change. This scheme involves three programs that help older workers retrain and learn new skills, providing workers with a clear roadmap back into the workplace and encouraging organisations to hire them. In Western Australia, the Job Reconnect program provides grants to both employers and employees to cover costs related to licences, upskilling, and even work clothing, transport and childcare.

It’s crucial for retail and hospitality employers to know how to entice older workers back to work and to make the most of their valuable talent. Known as the ‘sandwich generation’—defined by caring for their elderly parents and also dependent children or grandchildren—older works have a strong work ethic. Customer facing and front of house roles enable them to fit work around caring for family and other responsibilities.

Keep reading for key insights from our panel discussion and get the latest research to understand exactly what older workers want and what retail and hospitality organisations can do attract this in-demand demographic.

What Do Older Workers Want?

What do over 50s want and need from an employer? Does your organisation know how to attract and engage this older workforce and how to hire and retain them?

Flexibility

Unsurprisingly, monetary concerns are coaxing older workers back into the workplace due to the cost-of-living crisis. However, when it comes to choosing an employer, flexibility takes precedence over money.

Hospitality roles typically attract a younger demographic of workers. However, the flexibility offered by these jobs also appeals to the older working generation. Given that the over 50s are the largest age group with caring roles, flexible and part-time work is a powerful motivator for them to fit a job into their routine.  

As well as permanent roles, seasonal and flexible roles are available within the hospitality and retail industries, which can be more attractive to the older working community. Working harder in those seasonal months creates work-life balance, allowing older workers to take time off during quieter periods to recover and be with their friends and family.

Sense of Belonging

Workers in this age rage are still searching for rewarding work. Older workers wish to find a place where they can feel a part of their local community and give back. Over 50s enjoy creating social connections that a customer-facing job in a restaurant or supermarket can provide.

Customer-facing roles in hospitality and retail give individuals the chance to serve and connect with their community. For older customers, seeing employees in shops and restaurants that represent them can boost the customer experience. 

Myths About Older Workers

There are plenty of misconceptions out there from employers and colleagues about hiring and working with older workers. Consider these myths busted.

Myth 1: Older Workers are Resistant to Technology

Certain words can be viewed as a turn off for an over 50s audience, including “tech-savvy”, which some see as a way to ward off older candidates. There are older people who will feel excluded because others wrongly perceive that they’re less capable with technology, when in fact they are part of a generation that has seen huge advancements in technology. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is in his late 60s, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is in his early 60s.

Recognise that all colleagues work differently with technology, so you must be thoughtful in your use of training. In hospitality and retail, workers are likely to be using tills and sales computer systems. Regardless of whether a person struggles with technology, an organisation should have a strong program in place to support workers as they learn how to use these tools. For example, consider implementing a buddy system of workers and leaders who will happily help new employees in their first few weeks as they learn point-of-sale systems.

Myth 2: Absences are Higher Because of Health Issues

As people get older, their health can decline. However, this doesn’t mean that absenteeism is higher amongst older workers. In fact, older workers are more likely to have higher everyday attendance rates due to their strong work ethic. When you do see sickness or absence, it is typically in the form of long-term leave, rather than the odd day here and there.

Myth 3: Older Workers are Less Productive Than Younger Workers

A study demonstrated that there was no different between younger and older workers in terms of productivity. This study found that with their years of experience and memories, older people perhaps dismiss new information when they process things and instead use past information. It’s therefore important to acknowledge that older workers aren’t doing things worse, they just do these things differently through their years of experience.

What Can Organisations Do to Attract Older Workers?

So, how can retail and hospitality organisation tap into this hard-working talent pool? Here are four questions to ask to ensure your talent acquisition program is over-50s friendly.

Are Your Candidate Attraction Materials Inclusive for Everyone?

To attract older workers, you must think more creatively and broadly.  Use community-based websites to engage with people who live close to your locations. Show how the job will fit into their lifestyle and what it would be like for an older person to work there, rather than a generic message. Create testimonials from your current employees to support this.

Make sure that your imagery is diverse, featuring people of all ages. Look at your marketing materials and ensure that it reflects the community so that over 50s can see that jobs in hospitality are here for them. Take advantage of local community-boards in village halls and supermarkets.

How is Your Candidate Experience?

Retention and attraction are very different. Employers can encourage people to apply for jobs through their advertisements, yet ultimately, it is down to the experience the candidate has during the recruitment process, induction and beyond. The candidate experience is what will make them accept the position and stay at the company. 

When younger workers leave education, they’re taught how to answer competency-based interview questions and how to write a CV. The older generation of workers likely won’t have a CV and may not have experience with this kind of interview. Is your interview process age inclusive and relevant to them?

Are You Giving Them What They Want?

Now that we’ve shared what older workers want, is your organisation serious about flexible shift patterns? Over 40% of the part-time workforce is aged over 50. Not only does this part-time schedule work in hospitality, but also in retail, in which the holiday season creates a huge demand for workers.

Different shift patterns in retail can support individuals in their family commitments and lifestyle. Look at your employees’ caring responsibilities, for partners, for children, for elderly parents, and take this into account when creating your shift offerings.

But what else does this generation want from you? Everyone responds well to positive feedback. Both the retail and hospitality industries are great at celebrating successes, shown through brilliant behaviour and examples across organisations.

Finally, show that your organisation values them by offering benefit packages. Health is a priority for everyone as we get older, and health benefits can help to attract them to your organisation.

Does Your Anti-Bias Training Include Age?

Ageism usually gets the least amount of focus across the D&I plan. Train your leaders and hiring managers on unconscious bias particularly as it relates to age. Ensure there are no biases lurking in the recruitment process to open up talent pools instead of closing them down.

FUTURE OF WORK

DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK

Green Jobs, Green Skills: Hiring for a Renewable Future 

The future of work is green. According to the United Nations, the global economy is undergoing a “greening,” as industries like energy, transportation and construction adopt more sustainable practices. That process could create 24 million more jobs globally by 2030, putting workers with green skills in high demand.  

However, supply has not kept up, even as the need for green skills spills into other industries like economics and finance, security, market and geopolitical analysis, communications, social sciences, and legal.  

In this article, we’ll explore the drivers for green jobs and the need for green skills, which green skills are in the highest demand and how employers can find and hire top green talent.  

What are Green Jobs? 

So, what qualifies as a “green job?” According to the International Labour Organisation, “Green jobs reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimise waste and pollution, protect and restore ecosystems, and enable enterprises and communities to adapt to climate change.” 

Demand for green skills is outpacing the supply. According to LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report, between 2022 and 2023, job postings requiring at least one green skill rose 22.4% while the share of green talent in the workforce only grew 12.3%. 

hiring for green skills is growing fast

What’s causing the shift? According to the World Economic Forum, many countries are working to achieve net zero by 2050. This means that both governments and businesses are driving the green transition.  

green job growth

So far, the majority of green job growth has come in some of the highest polluting industries, such as energy and transportation, and in some of the countries that produce the most greenhouse gases.  

The U.S., Germany and India, countries that emit some of the highest amounts of greenhouse gasses, are leading the way in green jobs. According to the World Economic Forum, Germany is adopting more green skills in the manufacturing industry, and the U.S. and India are outpacing other countries in both oil and gas and mining.   

120 

For every 100 workers who leave the renewable energy sector, 120 join. (LinkedIn) 

 

10X 

There were 10 times the number of green jobs in the U.S. compared to the fossil fuel industry by 2019. (Source) 

 

16.5M 

There are now 16.5 million electric vehicles on the road. (LinkedIn)
(Source: LinkedIn, Global Citizen, LinkedIn)

But the need for green jobs goes beyond installing solar panels and building electric vehicles. According to LinkedIn, one of the most important sectors in sustainability is finance, and it is lagging behind. In the fight against climate change, huge investments will need to be made in things like wind farms and electric vehicle charging stations, and financial professionals will be in the spotlight. Despite that, only 6.8% of finance workers globally have green skills. However, there are signs of change. Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of green jobs in finance grew 17%. 

With increasing competition for green talent, employers need to have an in-depth understanding of the most in-demand green skills and how to attract, hire and train top talent.  

What are Green Skills?  

It is easy to mistakenly associate certain green skills to specific industries. Unlike the ability to set a broken bone, which will qualify a worker for a job in healthcare but isn’t relevant if they’re applying for a role with a law firm, green skills are different.  Think of green skills more like tech and digital skills in their ability to be applied across a wide range of industries. For example, carbon accounting, or estimating the carbon footprint of different organisations, can play an important role in a variety of industries, from consulting to waste management.  While there might be a concentration of workers with green skills in green industries, those skills are in demand across the global economy.  

According to LinkedIn, the fastest growing green skill in the EU is climate action planning. A climate action plan is “a framework document for measuring, tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adopting climate adaptation measures.”  

Climate action plans exist for a variety of organisations. For example, they exist at the government level, for international organisations like the World Bank, Fortune 500 companies and more. This means employers are competing for candidates across industries.  

There are many green skills that are required for jobs in industries not considered green. For example, according to LinkedIn, a knowledge of energy efficiency could be necessary for roles like a plumbing engineer, utilities manager, vice president of facilities or HVAC specialist.   

So, what are the most in demand green skills? It depends on where you are. In the U.S., carbon accounting, drinking water quality and energy engineering are seeing some of the fastest growth. While in the EU, sustainability education and carbon emissions round out the top three after climate action planning.  

fastest growing green skills in the eurpean union

How to Hire for Green Skills  

To meet their own hiring and sustainability goals, employers need to understand where to find candidates with in-demand green skills, how to attract them and how to train green-adjacent workers to help fill skills gaps. Here, we cover three options for employers struggling to fill green roles.  

1. Skills-Based Hiring  

Skills based hiring sounds simple—hiring people based on skills rather than previous job titles. However, according to SHRM, it requires a commitment to change. Traditionally, many jobs list requirements like specific degrees or years of experience that are used to determine if candidates are ready to take on a role.  

According to one survey, more than 80% of employers believe they should prioritise skills over degrees. Yet, 52% are still hiring from degree programs because it’s considered a less risky choice. This means that especially in entry- and mid-level roles, candidates with the right skills could be overlooked for failing to meet these specific requirements.  

Research shows that adopting a skills-based hiring strategy can yield significant improvements to an organisation’s talent acquisition program—increasing quality of hire, expanding the talent pool, increasing diversity and improving employee retention.  

Transitioning to a skills-based hiring process requires a culture change, a transformation in thinking from the top down—from senior leadership to hiring managers—and updates to many aspects of the recruitment process.  

One of the most important steps is updating the screening or assessment process. Rather than eliminating candidates who lack certain degrees or years of experience, develop criteria and assessments that objectively measure the skills necessary for the job. Then, screen candidates in rather than screening them out. An RPO provider with talent advisory capabilities can assist organisations moving to a skills-based screening and assessment strategy. 

2. Green Adjacent Skills and Gateway Jobs 

Additionally, employers can build gateway jobs and look for candidates with green adjacent skills.  

Gateway jobs are roles that can serve as steppingstones and give workers the opportunity to gain the green skills they’ll need for a green career. According to the LinkedIn report, one example of a gateway job is in supply chain management. As the industry looks to reduce its carbon emissions, workers are developing the green skills to do the job, even though they may not have had them when they were hired. In fact, 41% of workers who move into gateway jobs have no prior green experience.  

An effective strategy for hiring candidates for these gateway roles is looking for green adjacent skills. These are skills that don’t necessarily fall under the green umbrella but would give the candidate the ability to do many functions related to the role. For example, candidates with STEM and digital skills can go a long way toward helping an organisation reach its sustainability goals. Also, experience in industries currently undergoing a green transformation, like utilities, mining, transportation and agriculture can be applied to green jobs.  

How much more (or less) likely are workers who move into green and sustainability-related jobs to have certain skills?

To find these candidates, employers need a robust souring strategy to identify those with adjacent skills. The right technology solution can identify both active and passive candidates with specific skills, expanding the talent pipeline and predicting factors such as cultural fit, willingness to change companies and future tenure potential. 

3. Reskilling and Upskilling  

When hiring candidates with adjacent skills, employers must implement reskilling and upskilling programs to fill the skills gap.  

According to the World Economic Forum, nearly half of young workers believe they don’t have the right skillset to guarantee them an adequate job over the next decade. On top of that, sustainability transformations happen quickly, and without ongoing training, older workers could be left behind. The good news is that according to PwC, 77% of employees are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain in response to new technologies in the workplace.  

Reskilling and upskilling can happen at a few different levels, from government programs to higher education and private employers. However, organisations shouldn’t just rely on external programs. By building effective reskilling programs, businesses invest in services tailored to developing their own workforce while also assisting the global need for more sustainable work.  

A Renewable Future 

Setting up a green, sustainable future is everyone’s responsibility. As the demand for green skills increases, employers need effective solutions for finding, hiring and training top green talent. RPO providers, especially those with talent advisory services, can be a valuable resource for talent leaders looking to revamp their recruiting programs for a renewable future.  

For more insights on green skills in the energy sector, download our ebook, The Recruitment Handbook for Energy and Utilities.

The Multigenerational Workforce: Keeping Millennials Motivated

In this article, the third in our Multigenerational Workforce series, we’ll be focusing on millennials in the workplace, including what matters to them and how best to engage them.

By 2025, millennials will make up over half of the workforce, essentially replacing retiring Baby Boomers. They’ve already made a huge impact on the way we work, including leveraging technology to revolutionise productivity. As the older millennials enter their 40s, they’re moving into leadership roles and will have even more influence on how organizations operate into the future. So, how can employers harness the power of millennials to drive their businesses forward?

Who are Millennials?

Millennials, less commonly known as Generation Y, follow Gen X and precede Gen Z. Millennials were approximately born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s during the rise of technology, making them a tech-savvy generation. They’re the first generation to come of age in the new millennium, hence the name millennials. They are also known to put time and effort into their own personal beliefs and values.

Workers from this generation are bound together through their shared experience of financial challenges, including the 2008 Great Recession, which caused a 19% unemployment rate and massive student loan debt amongst millennials. As a result, members of the generation are more likely to find themselves underemployed or self-employed.

Perceptions and Misperceptions

This generation have been characterised as lazy and narcissistic, labelled as “Generation Me”. Other common perceptions for this demographic include being easily bored and hopping from job to job rather than staying with one employer. This could be, however, due to the anxiety caused from the global financial crash.

Despite these stereotypes, millennials have been described as self-sufficient, solving their own issues and teaching themselves through the internet rather than relying on others for help. They are also known to be confident, curious and open-minded.

What Matters to Millennials in the Workplace?

Digital & Tech Skills

Having been the first generation to grow up in a digital world, millennials have widespread experience of the development of technology, being both the “pioneers and the guinea pigs”.

This has affected the way that they communicate, with 41% of millennials choosing to communicate electronically instead of face-to-face according to a study by PwC. However, they’re also the last generation to have grown up in a world without the internet in every household.

When considering a job, 59% of millennials claim that technology in the workplace is an important factor. Employers are responding to this by encouraging professional use of social media at work and introducing smartphones as an employee benefit.

Mission and Purpose

Millennials thrive in a workplace that is mission-driven, keeping them motivated and inspired. In our recent report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we found that mission and purpose were the second most important factor for millennials when considering a new job. Those who work for companies with this as a priority feel more accomplished. Millennials want to share their employer’s goals and values in order to feel they are contributing to the world.

Collaboration

The move to a more collaborative working environment has been driven by millennials through the use of technology as it’s become more sophisticated. A collaborative environment allows workers to speak their ideas freely and feel a sense of belonging as part of a team. One way that employers are emphasizing collaboration is through mentorship programs, which have been proven to increase the happiness of workers and their productivity.

How Do You Engage Millennials at Work?

As millennials slowly take over as the majority of the workforce, employers must learn strategies to keep them motivated and feeling valued.

Be Open and Transparent

Millennials want openness and transparency from their leaders, ensuring their confidence with factual information that can be validated.

Keep millennials productive by creating clear targets are regular opportunities for feedback and praise. In fact, according to the same PwC study, 51% of this demographic believe that frequent or continuous feedback is a must on the job, making up a huge part of what keeps them motivated and engaged in their work.

Embrace Teamwork

To manage a multigenerational workforce, leaders must recognise that each generation may need different methods of management. Amongst millennials, 74% expressed that they are as happy working alongside other generations as with their own. So, it’s unsurprising to find millennials now managing older workers.

However, 34% of millennials felt that their personal drive could be perceived as intimidating to other generations. Effective programs that encourage interactions between different generations are necessary to overcome these misperceptions. For example, millennials thrive in opportunities such as “reverse mentoring,” in which they are able to learn from and teach skills to older workers.

Invest in Employee Development

Millennials look at their work as a means to learn and develop, which may be the greatest differentiator between them and all other generations. Indeed, a whopping 87% of millennials say that growth and development opportunities are important to them in a job, compared to just 69% of non-millennials. Offering opportunities to develop technology skills and interpersonal skills will not only help you retain millennial employees, it will help you ensure this important segment of your workforce is ready to step into leadership roles.

Trust Them

While millennials want to be supported through feedback and praise, they also want the freedom to “be their own boss”. Flexibility is important to millennials in the workplace. They’ll happily put in the long hours if they believe their work has a purpose, but those hours may not be during the traditional 9-to-5.

That said, many millennials believe that success should be evaluated through productivity, rather than the number of hours they are seen in an office. If they meet the deadlines you set, don’t be concerned about the hours they clock in and out. Focus on creating a flexible work culture to maximise millennial engagement, allowing employees to have more control over their working hours and location.

Lead with Your Values

Millennials are searching for more than “just a job” and want to achieve something worthwhile. Akin to Gen Z, millennials believe that companies and their leadership should be contributing positively to society. Strong corporate ethics will encourage loyalty among millennials.

A report from Deloitte found that 54% of millennials research a brand’s environmental impact and polices before accepting a job offer. To keep up with today’s candidates, it’s vital that organisations have updated employer value propositions (EVP) showcase the companies intentions to address social and environmental concerns.

In our multigenerational workplace, each generation will shape the world of work in their own way, and each will need different things from their working lives. Millennials bring commitment and collaboration to the workplace. In return, they want opportunities to grow and collaborate. Organisations that can effectively empower millennials to provide ethical leadership hold key to keeping them engaged.

To the workplace, millennials bring commitment and collaboration. What will the next generation of workers bring? Find out our top 10 predictions for what we think the working world will look like in 2030 and the best practices to prepare for the future in our Destination 2030 report.

FUTURE OF WORK

DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK

The Recruitment Handbook for Energy & Utilities

The Recruitment Handbook for Energy & Utilities

The energy and utilities industry is undergoing a massive transition as providers move to green and renewable energy sources and adjust to changing energy use patterns across the globe.

This means the sector is facing a unique set of talent challenges. In many areas of the globe, energy job growth is outpacing the rest of the economy. At the same time, the workforce is aging, creating a massive talent gap. In fact, according to McKinsey, the massive growth in solar and wind projects expected by 2030 will make it almost impossible to staff these projects with qualified development and construction employees as well as operations and maintenance workers.

Now, talent leaders need to think big—not just to attract more and younger workers, but to reskill workers in the shrinking fossil fuels industry and plan for the future.

In this handbook, you’ll learn:

  • Global trends driving the need for energy and utilities talent
  • Strategies for overcoming challenges in your energy and utilities hiring programs
  • How partnering with an RPO provider can help

The Recruitment Handbook for Travel and Hospitality

The Recruitment Handbook for Travel and Hospitality

5 Strategies for Recruiting the Best Travel and Hospitality Talent Now and into the Future

Through the job market volatility that has defined the hiring market for the past three years, the travel and hospitality industry saw some of the biggest impacts worldwide, and the reverberations and recovery are still shaping the industry years later.

While many industries have recovered the jobs lost in 2020, hospitality lags behind. While people are travelling again, the industry faces a new set of talent challenges, from a talent exodus to shifting traveller expectations. Now, employers have the opportunity to reshape their talent programs for the world of travel.

In this handbook, you’ll learn:

  • Global trends driving the need for travel and hospitality talent
  • Strategies for overcoming challenges in your travel and hospitality hiring programs
  • How partnering with an RPO provider can help

ESG and Life Science Recruitment: Why ESG Initiatives Will Make Your Competition Green With Envy  

A plethora of social, economic and environmental impacts are contributing to the emerging global “polycrisis.” Beyond the pandemic, the future impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and overexertion of natural resources will affect global health in the long term. This will impact the work of life science organisations as climate change is increasingly linked to diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Plus, the life science industry is among the largest carbon emitters, with biotech and pharma as the leading contributors. It’s no surprise that life science companies are focusing on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. For talent acquisition leaders, this poses unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to life science recruitment. 

In this article, we review the industry’s impacts on the environment, how those impacts affect life science recruitment, and how a green EVP and employer brand can be leveraged as a critical differentiator in your ability to attract talent.  

Life Science’s Impacts on the Environment 

The average carbon footprint of one life scientist ranges from an estimate of four to 15 tons of CO2 per year. This doesn’t even include the use of consumables, chemicals, production resources, equipment, transportation, energy, and construction and building maintenance materials. There’s no denying that the entire industry’s workforce footprint is quite significant. 

Moreover, pharmaceutical production is highly water-intense, and waste is poorly managed with only nine out of 118 pharmaceuticals removing their waste sustainably during the treatment process. Approximately 4,000 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are administered worldwide in prescription and over-the-counter medication as well as therapeutic and veterinary drugs. Residues from these drugs are released into the environment, contaminating the soil, rivers and lakes. With drug waste polluting the environment, the Global Leaders Group has created a call to action for all countries to improve measures for the management and disposal of antimicrobial-containing waste, declaring it as a “major threat to public health.” 

Four out of the top five (80%) global risks forecasted for the next decade are related to global health and climate change. The opportunities created by the industry to improve their environmental impact through ESG initiatives are huge.  

(Source: World Economic Forum, The Global Risks Report 2023) 

Gen Z and Millennials Care About ESG Initiatives

By 2029, Gen Z and millennials will account for 72% of the world’s workforce. This workforce has placed greater importance on ESG issues than previous generations. Considering the industry’s impact on the environment and the global force of this growing talent, millennials and Gen Z will keep the life science industry on its toes. To stay on top, it’s crucial that life science recruitment teams and hiring managers understand what this workforce wants, what they value and how these components contribute to their employment decisions. 

Around the world, young scientists are demanding that “climate justice” be at the top of the global agenda, with environmentalists stressing the need for organisations to radically reduce their carbon emissions. They are tired of politics influencing scientific decisions, slow global engagement and action, and “poor public communication concerning the state of our understanding of climate change.” 

As this talent seeks purpose in their careers, they prefer to work for employers that have set actionable ESG initiatives towards improving their sustainability efforts. Organisations with ESG practices and policies show top talent that they are purpose-driven and progressive, which is a top consideration for this younger STEM-based workforce when applying and working for your company.  

According to a study by Swytch, nearly 70% of Gen Z and millennial respondents say that a strong sustainability plan would affect their decision to stay with a company long term. About 30% of respondents report that they have left a company due to its lack of a corporate sustainability agenda with over 11% doing so more than once. Additionally, a 2023 report by KPMG UK showed that ESG initiatives are influencing employment decisions for almost 50% of UK employees, with millennials and younger workers driving the growing trend of “climate quitting” in search of more environmentally friendly jobs. 

Employers must understand that candidate attraction is more than high salaries and fancy titles. This workforce wants leaders to fearlessly and publicly take a stance on their ESG initiatives and to make it a part of the workplace culture. Failure to do so will make it difficult to attain top talent, further adding to current life science recruitment challenges due to workforce shortages and widening skills gaps. 

Intertwining Your ESG Initiatives into Your EVP and Employer Brand Strategy

With no time to waste, life science organisations need to invest in a “green” employer value proposition (EVP) and employer brand strategy.  

“Today’s labour market wants to join companies that make a difference in a real way.”

Cynthia Burkhardt, Global Head of Talent Acquisition, Kimberly-Clark 

With Gen Z and millennials viewing social and environmental responsibilities as a key differentiator when considering where to work, it’s no surprise that an employer’s ESG initiatives have become a crucial component of the life science recruitment process. Whether your organisation is already incorporating sustainable practices into your operations and mitigating risks to climate change or planning to do so, this is the opportunity to showcase that. Here are steps you can take that will appeal to your current and future workforce: 

1. Define Your ESG Voice 

Sustainability buzzwords are not enough, and top talent isn’t buying it. In fact, the European Commission’s National & Consumer Protection survey found that more than 42% of online corporate “green” claims were exaggerated, false or misleading. With “greenwashing” or “green-laundering” on the rise, employers need to establish ways to gain the trust of Gen Z and millennials. Your voice must showcase your purpose and intent. For example, using keywords like “zero discharge” and “risk mitigation,” rather than vague and misleading terminology such as “eco-friendly” or “sustainable,” will have candidates viewing you as more honest and authentic than the competition. 

“Sustainability plays a big role for me. An employer that is supposedly committed to it, but hardly knows what to do with the topic behind the scenes, has no future for me.”

Gen Z respondent from Austria 

2. Communicate Your Mission 

Build your internal and external employer brand messaging around the organisation’s ESG initiatives such as corporate sustainability efforts and climate change initiatives. Keep in mind that the internal launch of an EVP and employer branding platform plays a critical part in laying the foundation for the success of the external launch. Bring your EVP to life through transparency and stakeholder alignment. Your employer brand message must be aspirational, future-focused and agile enough to sustain any changes that may come.  

3. Weave ESG Initiatives into Your Life Science Recruitment Marketing Materials 

Incorporate your ESG-centric mission and values into your career site and explain how those objectives are part of the organisation’s DNA. On social media and other attraction channels, feature content that is relevant to topics like green training and development, environmental advocacy, waste minimisation and corporate reduction of CO2 emissions to attract a wider variety of STEM-related talent. 

4. Showcase Your Investment and Metrics 

Remember that acting on your ESG initiatives is more than providing donations or partaking in “volunteer hours” that gain you a gold star. Let candidates know how much landfill waste you’ve reduced through your recycling program or that you’ve reduced your carbon footprint by 10%. Organisations that actively monitor their social and environmental impacts yield greater candidate attraction and positive impacts to their triple bottom line.  

5. Highlight Employee and Leadership Involvement 

Leverage your employees’ passions, concerns and ideas as a compelling way to address the organisation’s initiatives. You can take the output from this to generate recruitment marketing materials, such as employee testimonials, quotes and even videos of leadership involvement or team building initiatives. For candidates, this effort exemplifies a company culture that genuinely wants to make an impact.  

6. Green Up the Candidate Experience 

Alignment of values is top priority for today’s candidates. However, it can be difficult for them to determine if a potential employer’s ethics align with theirs. To improve candidate experience, incorporate ESG initiatives into your job descriptions. For example, call attention to how the role will help achieve sustainability initiatives and feature any employee green benefits like locally sourced perks or green travel packages.  

Most importantly, make sure your recruiters and hiring team are aware of your green values. According to HRD Australia, often times the hiring team is not well-informed on what the company is doing in these areas. A life science recruitment team that is aligned with the organisation’s ESG initiatives will ensure smooth communication and a good first impression with potential candidates. 

Can You Keep Up? 

With Gen Z and millennials shaping the future of work, employers cannot afford to trail behind the curve when it comes to ESG. Additionally, as early-career candidates and graduates are a top source for talent in the life science industry, organisations that do not have visible and measurable ESG metrics risk alienating this top talent. Focus on incorporating your ESG initiatives into your organisation’s EVP, tweak your employer brand messaging to reflect what your workforce wants.

The Changing Workforce of Life Science: Adapting to a New Era

THE CHANGING WORKFORCE OF LIFE SCIENCE: ADAPTING TO A NEW ERA

From increased adoption of technology in scientific research to the growing demand for innovation in pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostics, the global life science industry is changing rapidly, requiring recruitment teams to be agile to meet demand.  

With 87% of life science executives indicating that they’re experiencing skill gaps and expect to experience more within a few years, life science organisations must invest in better talent acquisition strategies to future-proof their workforce. 

In this ebook, we explore leading industry developments that are transforming the life science workforce: 

  • How demand for tech talent is reshaping the industry 
  • How innovation in medical research and patient care are creating skills gaps 
  • How the global push for sustainability and climate change initiatives is impacting the workforce 

Plus, learn how an RPO partner can help your life science organisation rethink and remodel current recruitment strategies to overcome talent acquisition challenges.  

Digital Talent Demands: A Guide for Talent Leaders

The demand for skilled tech and digital talent is growing at an unprecedented rate in response to the emergence of new technologies, making the competition for talent as tight as ever, with both tech and non-tech companies vying for the same qualified candidates. For the tech sector, it’s a time of transformation. For non-tech organizations, it’s a golden opportunity to fill their technical skills gaps. But for any employer looking to attract top digital talent, it is essential to first understand what candidates are looking for in a new employer.  

In this article, we explore the opportunity for non-tech organizations and offer insights into what tech and digital professionals are looking for in a new employer.  

Plenty of Demand Despite Tech Sector Shifts 

The tumultuous labor market and recent economic landscape have been a rollercoaster for all HR leaders, but those in the tech sector have experienced particularly high highs and low lows. Recent layoffs at tech companies are being categorized as a “course correction” by many publications, and it seems the “growth-at-all-costs” attitude has finally caught up with tech organizations. Over 160,000 professionals were laid off in 2022 according to Layoffs.fyi, with additional cuts taking place in 2023.  

Yet, despite this, demand for tech talent remains high. Over 375,000 tech jobs remain unfilled in the U.S. according to the Dice Tech Job Report. In Australia, tech jobs grew more than twice as fast as the average employment rate in the last decade. In the UK, 41% of companies expect to hire for technical skills in 2023. 

The Tech & Digital Talent Diaspora 

This demand is being primarily driven by traditional companies, rather than software companies or other tech organizations. In fact, the majority of people in tech occupations (59%) don’t work in the tech sector

In our digital-first world, every company—from apparel brands to car insurance companies—has tech at the heart of their business as they develop mobile apps and ecommerce consumer experiences. In fact, the biggest and fastest-growing industries for tech professionals are finance, manufacturing and healthcare as these sectors increasingly digitize their operations. 

The ratio of tech and digital workers employed outside of the tech industry will continue to grow. Many workers recently laid off from Big Tech firms have highly sought-after skills, creating an opportunity for more traditional organizations to land tech and digital talent. 

Graph showing which industries tech and digital talent are moving into.

Will Former Tech Workers Re-Evaluate Their Options? 

Given the extent of the downsizing in the tech sector, many workers will think twice about going back to a tech company in the future. Traditional employers, that previously couldn’t compete against the high salaries and quirky perks that Big Tech could provide, now have more to offer tech workers—including stability. 

Tech workers are trading the excitement of startups for the steadiness of more traditional employers. The unpredictable nature and funding rollercoasters of tech firms have left many tech professionals seeking a saner pace. As traditional companies embrace AI, blockchain and cybersecurity, workers who have left the tech sector can still leverage their tech and digital skill sets, but with a greater sense of security.  

What Do Tech and Digital Talent Want? 

When they’re ready for growth again, Big Tech will have to rethink their approach to engaging tech talent and attracting them back to the industry. So, what do tech and digital workers want from their employer and their job? Here are three top considerations that organizations across sectors should focus on to attract and retain tech and digital talent.  

Flexibility & Work/Life Balance 

Many tech workers who experienced the fast pace and intense work culture of startups now find themselves burnt out and are prioritizing more work/life balance. Flexible contracts and remote working are important to tech workers, with 29% citing flexibility as a top priority when looking for a job. Yet, 48% of tech sector employees said that they were feeling pressure from their employer to come into the office more often. 

Recent Gallup analysis shows that employee engagement is lowest among on-site employees, with the biggest dip seen among employees who are capable of working remotely but are required to be on site. Flexibility is not just a perk to offer employees; it should be viewed as a critical way to increase productivity. Organizations can reap the benefits of flexibility in the workplace by continuously monitoring their flexible work program and addressing any challenges experienced by employees or hiring managers.  

What tech and digital talent want

Digital Skills Development  

No one is more aware of the speed of technological advancement than tech and digital workers. And this can lead to anxiety. In fact, 29% of digital employees globally believe their skill set is redundant now or will be in the next one to two years, and 38% believe their skills will be obsolete in the next four to five years. 

In terms of retaining digital talent, investing in training and upskilling programs is crucial for all organizations. Over half of digital talent (55%) say they’re willing to change employers if they feel their skills are stagnating in their current role. Plus, 58% say they would gravitate to organizations that offer better tech and digital skills development. 

With an abundance of job opportunities available, these employees won’t hesitate to find an employer that will invest in their career development. So it’s concerning that only 27% of employees said their organization had plenty of opportunities in place to help them to learn new skills. Learning and development programs are not only an important part of retaining talent with tech and digital skill sets but can also be an effective way to attract talent.  

Start with a skills audit and compare the findings to your business roadmap. By uncovering the areas where your workforce needs the most training, you can then take steps to develop an upskilling program. For example, PeopleScout worked with a longstanding UK financial services RPO client to lead a reskilling program to help the client evaluate their customer service staff in bank branches and call centers to find candidates for their tech skilling program. We were able to identify over 1,000 employees who are now participating in a 12-month “bootcamp” to build digital and tech skills and move into new careers within the organization. 

Meaningful Work  

Organizations must find out how to communicate their employer value proposition (EVP) in a way that resonates with digital talent. Make sure your attraction content emphasizes the give and get for people in tech roles at your organization including learning and growth opportunities, your tech innovations and projects, well-being initiatives and more. Plus, more and more candidates are paying attention to organizational values and mission. If they can’t determine if their personal values are aligned with the company’s mission, they won’t apply.  

EVP is not all about attraction, but also about employee retention. From a retention perspective, it’s crucial that employers continue to showcase how you’re investing in your employees beyond compensation and benefits. This helps to boost feelings of engagement and to build loyalty. 

As the pace of digital transformation accelerates, it is difficult to envisage a company attaining its full potential without a strong foundation of tech and digital talent. Demand for this crucial part of the workforce won’t let up soon. It’s mission critical for organizations to understand what makes this group tick in order to attract, hire and retain tech talent. To get more strategies for attracting and hiring tech and digital proessionals, download our Recruitment Handbook for Tech & Digital Talent.

Recruitment Handbook for Tech & Digital Talent