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

Navigating the Transition to Green Energy: Recruitment Trends for Energy and Utility Employers [Infographic]

The energy and utilities industry is in the process of a massive transition as providers move to green and renewable energy sources and adjust to changing energy use patterns across the globe. In the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022, which increased the incentives for energy-transition-related investments and core renewables. In EMEA, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has spurred a faster transition to renewables, according to the UK Climate Envoy.

This growth has left a massive talent gap, especially in an industry with an aging workforce. Talent acquisition leaders in the energy and utilities sector need to understand the forces shaping the recruitment landscape to remain competitive.

CHECK OUT THIS INFOGRAPHIC FOR INSIGHTS TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THIS GREENING INDUSTRY.

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.

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

Breaking DE&I Barriers in Life Science: Tips to Build & Recruit a Diverse Workforce

Over 20 years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act, or the Healthcare Fairness Act, to address national issues such as the increasing need for a diverse workforce. With focus on the life sciences, it stated, “There is a national need for minority scientists in the fields of biomedical, clinical, behavioural, and health services research.” Yet, underrepresented populations are still the largest “untapped STEM talent pools in the United States.” 

Black and Hispanic individuals remain underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce. Plus, women remain underrepresented in fields like physical sciences, computing and engineering. Moreover, organisations in Europe are struggling to find and retain women in STEM. According to Eurostat, female scientists and engineers remain a minority in STEM roles, and despite increases over the past decade, women still make up only 16.5% of engineers in the UK. 

For life science organisations, the lack of minorities and women in STEM fields and the sector overall will present long-term challenges in cultivating a workforce that will help them remain competitive in our increasingly diverse and interconnected world. 

However, it seems there hasn’t been much progress made in the 20+ years since the Healthcare Fairness Act. So, how can life science organisations make a difference in creating more diversity in life science careers? Keep reading to learn more about the DE&I challenges and opportunities for life science employers. 

Life Science’s Lack of a Diverse Workforce

Diversity is lacking across the entire life science industry, from research to clinical work. According to the U.S. National Science Foundation, the representation of minority ethnic groups in the science fields must more than double to match the groups’ overall share of the U.S. population. In fact, 65% of the U.S. workforce in life science are white, 19% are Asian, 8% are Hispanic and only 6% are Black. 

Being a future-focused employer requires investment in building diverse and inclusive teams. Bringing underrepresented groups into your organisation provides a full range of benefits and skills to drive innovation. The issue is particularly pressing as the industry undergoes a wave of transformation due to the disruption of tech—further widening the current skills gap.  

Additionally, diversity in leadership will help you boost retention and attract talent. With 85% of life science employees who identify as a minority saying they are ‘hugely underrepresented’ in senior roles, the lack of diverse leadership representation could be detrimental to your organisation. It could affect your bottom line and further hinder your ability to attain those highly competitive, in-demand skills (like data analytics and computer programming) needed within the industry.  

Diversity in Life Science

Furthermore,  Informa Connect conducted one of the largest industry employee research reports to date, which surveyed life science professionals around the world about their opinions on diversity and inclusion in the industry. When asked what the industry’s biggest problem is pertaining to having an inclusive and diverse workforce, over a third of respondents named the lack of representation of minorities in leadership roles. 

Gender Inequality in Life Science

Due to the lack of women in STEM careers, life science employers struggle to attract women to R&D roles. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 70% of global researchers are men. This creates problems for life science employers as both female life science professionals (65%) and male professionals (59%) believe women are under-represented overall. It doesn’t help that, although women make up almost half (48%) of life science workers, men still out-earn women by 13%.

Diversity in Life Science

Why is Diversity in Life Science so Important? 

Although there are clear disparities around representation of minorities and women in life science, only 23% of organisations are giving significant focus to DE&I and only 13% are financially investing in diverse groups.  Organisations that aren’t prioritising DE&I will struggle to cope with the industry’s current talent shortage. The lack of diversity puts organisations at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. 

In our recent research report, candidates say that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. This is even more important for candidates from underrepresented groups. In Biospace’s latest report, 93% of women of color responded that they believe diversity is important when considering a job. Investing in DE&I-focused talent acquisition strategies, programs and training creates a huge opportunity for life science organisations to grow a diverse and productive workforce. 

A diverse and inclusive work environment builds trust, increases engagement and improves business outcomes.  

Organisations with strong “diversity climates” have increased employee job satisfaction and employee retention as well as financial returns above national industry medians. Companies with above-average diversity scores report nearly 20% higher revenue due to innovation.  

Moreover, diversity provides many benefits for improved organisational performance and productivity such as:  

  • Broader range of skills and experience  
  • Multilingualism to support global growth 
  • Increased cultural competence and awareness 

Diverse workforces, including cognitively diverse teams, leverage a greater variety of perspectives to solve problems faster with improved accuracy. According to the International Labor Organisation, when companies establish inclusive business cultures and policies, they experience a nearly 60% increase in creativity, innovation and openness. 

For example, the majority of the western world’s research uses tissue and blood from white individuals to screen drugs and therapies that are developed for a more diverse population. However, different ethnic groups experience different outcomes from various treatments, methods and diseases. A diverse workforce, especially in biomedical science and pharmaceuticals, would more likely push for inclusion in research and testing and provide different perspectives that could lead to new insights and discoveries. 

Strategies for Attracting, Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce in Life Science 

Creating a diverse and inclusive work environment can be challenging, but here are some proven steps for attracting top diverse talent and establishing equitable recruitment practices. 

1. Focus on Employer Branding  

Show diversity as part of your organisation’s DNA by articulating a compelling EVP and employer brand that clearly defines and establishes your organisational commitment to DE&I. Building your internal and external employer brand messaging gives you greater influence over what you are known for, how you are perceived by candidates and the value that you offer to your employees. Make sure your recruitment marketing materials are relevant to a variety of audiences with imagery and content that highlights diversity in race, gender and more. Plus, showcasing real employees adds a layer of authenticity to your employer brand.  

2. Update Your Career Site 

After viewing a job post, a candidate’s first point of contact is usually your career site. It’s crucial that your career site shows your DE&I efforts. Sharing diversity goals publicly and transparently is an important way for candidates to experience your organisational values and mission.  

3. Keep Job Listings Simple  

Plain language is especially important if you want to reach diverse populations. Use verbiage that your candidate would use rather than your internal terminology and assess your job ads for biased language. Avoid verbiage like “expert,” “rockstar” or “like a family” that are often masculine and project a homogeneous work culture that prioritises like-minded thinking over diversity. Additionally, remove any experience or skills that are “nice-to-have” in your job descriptions, and keep in mind that men and women value different things. For example, while men usually prioritise compensation, most women see work-life balance as their number one priority. 

4. Go Beyond Your Careers Site 

Elevate your sourcing strategy by:  

  • Optimising your reach by posting on relevant job boards and platforms. Don’t forget that professional networking groups, like the Black Healthcare and Medical Association, are great resources to get your job ads in front of the right people.  
  • Establish relationships with STEM-based programs at universities, alumni associations and other networking groups that cater to diverse populations. 
  • Get your internal teams involved by asking for referrals. Diverse employees are often connected with diverse candidates. 

In doing so, you cast a wider net to reach a larger pool of diverse candidates, maximising your chances of growing your workforce. 

5. Representation Matters 

During the interview stage, make sure candidates see how much you value diversity by having a diverse panel of interviewers. When a candidate sees someone who looks like themselves or another minority when being interviewed, it creates a sense of belonging and reaffirms your company’s mission to establish a diverse culture. Additionally, make sure your hiring panel has received diversity training and can successfully communicate with those that think differently and have unique backgrounds or working styles. 

6. Invest in Diversity Training 

Through diversity training, you can help change systematic diversity hurdles—such as your organisation’s hiring practices and how diverse talent is sourced as well as taking action to increase diversity at the board or leadership level.  

“Companies need to acknowledge the unique needs and contributions of employees with multiple historically excluded identities.”

Yaro Fong-Olivare, Executive director of Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business (CWB)

Diversity training programs are not a one-size-fits-all solution and come in various training types, which can be customised to help achieve your organisation’s goals. Diversity training helps employees feel a sense of belonging, so they are more likely to stay with an organisation, which can improve your retention rates. 

7. Enable Talent Acquisition Technology and Track Your Efforts 

To build a diverse candidate pipeline, it’s critical that you engage cutting-edge technology and analytics tools to know where your diverse candidates are coming from, how they’re progressing through the recruitment process, and which of your sourcing channels or campaigns brought them to you. Although these insights are often stored in different systems and platforms, a comprehensive reporting tool can help synthesise your data and visualise trends.  

For example, PeopleScout’s Affinix™ brings together applicant tracking systems (ATS), candidate relationship management (CRM) systems, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital marketing, predictive analytics and digital interviewing to provide award winning innovation to support your organisation’s diverse hiring goals. Affinix Analytics’ diversity dashboards show how diverse candidates are entering your pipeline in real time. By tracking how candidates progress through your funnel, you can determine which resources and campaigns bring in top candidates from underrepresented groups. From there, you can analyse the results, identify hiring trends, adjust sourcing spend and strategy to make data-driven decisions. 

Conclusion 

Building an inclusive and diverse workforce doesn’t start and end with just hiring underrepresented groups, it requires an entire organisational shift. In order for the life sciences industry to maintain leadership and competitiveness in science and medical advancement, it’s crucial that organisations invest in building a strong and diverse talent pipeline. Everyone from the C-Suite to hiring managers has an important part to play in achieving DE&I goals and shrinking the industry’s growing workforce gaps.

The Multigenerational Workforce: Gen Z in the Workplace

To continue our series, The Multigeneration Workforce, this article explores the challenges and opportunities of Gen Z in the workplace. For the first time in modern history, four generations are working side-by-side: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. The ratios will change over the coming years—and so will each group’s level of influence.  

Gen Z is overtaking Baby Boomers as the largest generation history, boasting an incredible two billion people globally, and is set to become the largest demographic in the workplace by the end of the decade. Leaders must not underestimate the impact this generation’s ideas and perspective will have on the world and the workplace. By understanding their needs and preferences, you can attract, engage and hire the best Gen Z talent to propel your workforce into the future. 

Who is Gen Z? 

While sources vary, Gen Z is generally defined as the generation born approximately between 1995 and 2010. They are the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media and have come of age in a time marked by 9/11, polarised politics, economic fluctuations and climate woes. They watched their parents lose jobs during the Great Recession. Then, they experienced the biggest educational and workplace disruption in modern history as COVID-19 lockdowns led to their classes moving online, a surge in unemployment and psychological distress.  

As voracious consumers and creators of digital media, they focus on curating their online presence and have developed an “unapologetically me” ideology. As a result, they are generally socially progressive and value diversity.  

Perhaps ironically, growing up in this hyperconnected online world has also fuelled feelings of isolation and loneliness among many Gen Z-ers. Seeing friends posting content and having fun (cue the #FOMO), alongside the pressure to keep on top of social trends, can make the feelings of disconnection even more acute, leading to increases in depression and anxiety.

Gen Z in the workplace

What Matters to Gen Z in the Workplace? 

Gen Z-ers have different expectations and priorities than previous generations of workers. They’ve expressed less loyalty than past cohorts and are more pragmatic. They don’t assume they’ll have a social safety net upon retirement since seeing layoffs and pensions shrinking.  

Here are some more characteristics to look out for when hiring Gen Z candidates. 

Fighting for Social Change  

After witnessing the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements as well as the increased frequency of natural disasters due to climate change, Gen Z is seeking employment that matches their personal values. They believe in their ability to make a difference individually and are also demanding that employers do their part to help build a better future.  

LinkedIn released a global study of nearly 10,000 professionals which found that 68% of workers in the UK, France, Germany and Ireland consider it important to work for companies that are aligned with their values. In the U.S., it’s higher at 87%. Gen Z is driving this shift, with nearly 90% in Europe saying they would leave a job to work somewhere that better matches their values.  

Digitally Native but Digitally Unsure 

Growing up with access to the internet and mobile devices has led to a widespread presumption that Gen Z-ers are innately good with tech. However, new research shows this may not be the case at work.  

One in five of the 18-to-29-year-olds polled in HP’s Hybrid Work: Are We There Yet? report said they felt judged when experiencing technical issues in the workplace. Furthermore, this “tech shame” leads 25% of young professionals to actively avoid participating in a meeting if they think it will expose their tech shortcomings.  

Generation Disenchanted? 

Much has been said about the number of older workers taking early retirement, but the biggest rise in inactivity since the pandemic has not been among Baby Boomers, but workers aged between 18 and 24. In the UK, the share of workers in this age group classed as economically inactive—meaning they’re not actively working or looking for a job—stood at a record high of 32% in the second quarter of 2022. Plus, of those who are students or currently unemployed, 1 in 10 said they never intend to start working.  

In a rejection of the “girlboss” and “hustle culture”, the hashtag #IDontDreamOfLabor has taken off as a platform for Gen Z to speak candidly about their rejection of work as the basis for identity, framing it instead as a financial necessity for paying the bills. In the shadow of the Great Resignation, Gen Z is vocal about the role of work in their lives—sometimes to viral acclaim. Some have taken to TikTok to coach their peers on how to negotiate salaries, which red flags to look out for in the interview process and how to stick up for what they want at work.  

The formative experience of the Great Recession combined with entering the workforce during the pandemic has taught young people that hard work doesn’t necessarily guarantee stability. They want better than what their parents had and aren’t shy about demanding more from their employers. Organisations who can navigate these expectations will win the hearts of Generation Z. 

Gen Z at work

Strategies for Engaging Gen Z at Work

To help Gen Z workers become as productive and successful as possible, employers need to showcase their values and offer a combination of ongoing wellbeing support and robust skills training.  

1. Evaluate Your Employer Brand for Gen Z 

As most young people seeking employment with a company they can believe in, it’s important to build an employer brand that resonates with Gen Z values. In the recent global study, Inside the Candidate Experience, PeopleScout found that the top things Gen Z job seekers look for when evaluating a job are: 

  1. Mission and purpose 
  1. Flexible working and work/life balance 
  1. DE&I; Company culture (tied) 

With mission and purpose as the top factor for Gen Z job seekers, it’s surprising how few organisations include this information on their career websites. On the sites we examined, we found an organisation’s mission and purpose less than half (48%) of the time. This means that half of companies are passing up an opportunity to engage emotionally with their young talent audiences and assist prospects in understanding how the job they have applied for fits into that goal. Candidates won’t look at your open roles if they can’t identify your mission on your careers site. 

2. Embrace Social Media  

Despite concern over how much Gen Z-ers use and consume social media, it is their main way of staying connected, so it is imperative for employers to have a strong presence on social. Two-thirds of candidates use social media to research companies during their job search. Yet, a third of employers are not posting career related content (above and beyond job listings) to their social channels at least once a week.  

Favourite social platforms for Gen Z include TikTok, Instagram and YouTube—so consider creating video content to engage talent from this generation. “Day in the life” videos are a great way to provide a realistic job preview and show early careers talent what it’s like to work at your organisation. 

3. Showcase Your DE&I Efforts 

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is a top consideration for Gen Z candidates when looking for a job, and they’ll be scrutinising any employer to separate lip service from authentic DE&I action. When candidates from underrepresented groups are searching for jobs, the right job title might be enough to get them to click on a posting—but whether they actually apply is influenced by what they read and hear about how an organisation treats its people.  

Representation matters, and employers who showcase employees across a range of demographics show candidates that people from diverse backgrounds can flourish at their organisation. Ensure your recruitment communications include voices and stories from underrepresented groups at all levels of the organisation.  

Employers should also strive for transparency with their diversity recruitment data and share any plans they have in place to shift the dial around representation. Then, when candidates from underrepresented groups encounter similar voices throughout the recruitment process, they’ll realise that not only are they welcome at the organisation, but they’ll also have the opportunity to thrive and progress.  

4. Offer Employee Mental Wellness Benefits 

Growing up entirely in the digital age has undeniably had an impact on how this generation interacts with others. With fewer in-person exchanges, some 37% of Gen Z feels worried that technology weakens their ability to maintain strong interpersonal relationships and develop people skills. Living in a world of non-stop communication through apps and social media also contributes to mental health conditions like anxiety. The strain of modern living on mental health has been further exacerbated by the pandemic and lockdown life. 

Gen Z-ers are proud advocates for mental health, sharing their experiences and removing the stigma around depression and anxiety. According to Cigna International Health’s 2023 survey of almost 12,000 workers around the world, 91% of 18-to-24-year-olds report being stressed. And they’re looking for support from their employer. A whopping 92% of university students say employers should offer mental well-being benefits, and more than a third (36%) are prioritising those who do as they start their careers. 

Employee assistance programs, employee resource groups and workplace mental health training are all ways employers are creating a culture that promotes mental health and wellbeing. Gen Z will be drawn to employers who are joining the conversation around mental health and creating a safe space to raise and address these issues. 

5. Highlight Growth Opportunities for Gen Z

Worryingly, 37% of young people say their education did not adequately prepare them with the technology skills they need for their career. This digital native generation is lacking in the digital literacy most organisations need to fuel future innovation.  

Gen Z is prioritising employers who demonstrate investment in developing their employees’ skills and career paths. Employers who highlight training, mentoring and professional development programs in their recruitment materials will satisfy Gen Z’s ambition and desire to grow.  

Training for new Gen Z joiners should centre around soft skills like resilience, relationship building and empathy, enabling people from this cohort to manage their own stress levels effectively and to understand when and how they should ask for help. Face-to-face support and mentoring programs are a core elements of training for Gen Z in the workplace. Mentoring and reverse mentoring are being widely embraced by organisations across industries, enabling more senior employees to share their experience with the younger generation to counteract skills gaps, while also tapping into the knowledge and insights of Gen Z in the areas of social trends and digital media.  

Gen Z in the Workplace: Embracing Positive Change 

As organisations plan for the future of work, they must work harder to appeal to the savvy Generation Z-ers entering the workforce. While most employers understand the importance of inclusivity and ethical decision-making, this generation will hold them accountable to putting those principles into action. Employers must embrace these values and the positive changes brought by Gen Z in the workplace. Talent acquisition leaders should keep their finger on the pulse of how these young workers will shape how we hire and develop talent in the coming decades. 

Check out our report to learn more about the future of work:

Future of Work

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

Employee Retention by the Numbers

Survey results from McKinsey and Company show that 40% of employees across Australia, Canada, Singapore, the UK and the U.S. are likely to leave their jobs. To that end, below are key facts and figures that illustrate the current state of hiring and how organisations can recalibrate to improve employee retention in 2023.  

Hiring Takes the Back Burner…

…As Retention Takes Priority

Employers Don’t Understand Why Employees Leave 

More Important to Employees than Employers Appreciate:

  • Valued by organisation
  • Valued by manager
  • Sense of belonging
  • Potential for advancement
  • Having caring and trusting teammates
  • Flexible work schedule

(Source: McKinsey & Company)

Flexible Work Matters 

64% of the global workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time.  

52% of employees are even willing to accept a pay cut—up to 11%—to maintain flexible, hybrid work arrangements. 

(Source: ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View)

Employees Crave Development & Growth 

Career progression is the No.1 pull factor attracting employees to new jobs. 

(Source: Achievers 2022 Engagement and Retention Report)

76% of employees would stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support. 

(Source: Microsoft Work Trend Index Special Report)

Internal Mobility Makes a Difference 

Workers who have no visibility into internal career opportunities are 61% more likely to have plans to quit their job. 

Employees who make an internal move are more likely to stay at their organisation longer than those who stay in the same role.

Keeping the Human in Human Resources: 3 Employee Retention Strategies for 2023

After the last three years, there’s no doubt that we could all use a deep breath. But, with economic uncertainty filling the air, we haven’t quite reached a steady state. Instead, now’s the time to reflect on all that’s been learned throughout the last few years and recalibrate your strategies to better succeed in today’s reality. In fact, this work has already begun, with new research suggesting that talent acquisition is no longer a leading priority among employers. Instead, a focus on employee retention strategies takes the lead.  

According to Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy Report, 40% of HR professionals surveyed said that talent acquisition was a top priority in 2021. By 2022, that number had dropped to 17%, with the surveyed professionals indicating that retention would be a leading priority over talent acquisition heading into 2023. Notably, this data tracks globally, as a recent Global Talent Trends report from LinkedIn highlighted decreasing hiring rates from 2021 to 2022 across a sample of 14 countries.  

During the current economic downturn, it’s clear that employers are looking inward at how they can retain their best people. So, how can your organisation foster an environment where people don’t want to leave? Consider these three tips for increasing employee retention in 2023:  

1. Establish a Strong Sense of Purpose & Belonging 

According to a study from McKinsey and Company, the relational factors that are most important to employees—such as feeling valued and a sense of belonging—are often overlooked by employers who falsely assume transactional factors (such as compensation) are most important to employees.   

Consider these tips for establishing a sense of belonging with your employees:  

  • Train managers on how to have meaningful conversations with employees.  
  • Encourage managers to be invested in employees’ personal and professional aspirations.  
  • Make vulnerability a normal practice among leaders, managers, and contributors.  
  • Establish a strong D&I program, complete with employee resource groups

Along the same lines, there’s no better way to foster a connection to your organisation than by recognising employees who live your purpose in practice. Whether it’s via a team email, internal newsletter or social media post; identify employees who embody your organisation’s purpose. They’ll feel valued, and others will be encouraged to find ways to integrate that purpose into their daily lives, as well.  

2. Maintain Flexible Work Options

The data is clear: Losing flexible work is not an option—not if you want to have any chance of retaining your people. According to a 2022 study from ADP, 64% of the global workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time. What’s more, the survey also found that more than half (52%) of employees were even willing to accept a pay cut if it meant maintaining flexible, hybrid work arrangements.  

As such, it’s important to remember that flexible work doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Consider these options:  

  • Require two to three in-person workdays for all employees.  
  • Allow employees to choose which days they work from home.  
  • Offer atypical work hours — such as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — to accommodate employees with other responsibilities and interests.   
  • If possible, allow full-time remote work.  

After determining which flexible work options make the most sense for your organisation, remember to purposefully build opportunities for engagement among your remote or hybrid team. And, if your organisation’s policies don’t allow much room for flexibility, be mindful of tying those policies back to the business. For example, rather than citing “productivity” as a vague reason for not allowing employees to work remotely, explain why collaborating in person will allow the business to better serve customers.  

3. Prioritise Development & Internal Mobility

Employees are hungry for growth and development. According to the latest Engagement and Retention Report from Achievers, career progression was the #1 pull factor attracting employees to new jobs. Similarly, new data from Microsoft showed that 76% of employees would stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support. So, what can employers do about it? To start, don’t give employees a reason to look elsewhere for opportunities to grow their careers.   

By prioritising learning and development (L&D) from day one, employees will feel like their career progression is being taken seriously. More precisely, consider mentorship programs, shadowing and skills training to invest in employees’ growth. Likewise, another critical component of retaining employees is internal mobility, which works in tandem with L&D.   

Research from LinkedIn shows that employees who make an internal move are more likely to stay at their organisation longer than those who stay in the same role. For example, at the one-year mark, employees are 75% likely to stay without an internal move, while those who make a lateral move or receive a promotion are 87% likely to stay. This trend continues for each year an employee stays at the company. 

Treat People Like People 

At the end of the day, people want to be treated as just that—people. They crave connection, interaction and belonging—all things that were compromised by the seemingly overnight shift to more virtual work. Employers who understand the importance of relational factors over transactional ones will be the ones to retain their employees. And, those who are intentional about establishing a strong sense of purpose; fostering engagement; and creating opportunities for flexibility, recognition and development will emerge stronger with the most valuable resource —their people—intact.  

Top 7 Workforce Trends to Watch for in 2023 & Beyond

So far, 2023 has proven to be a year of contradictions, making workforce trends hard to pin down. The labour market is cooling, yet unemployment remains low. Despite the slowdown in some industries, others like healthcare and hospitality are still tight. Overall, job openings are still higher than pre-pandemic levels in most countries.

Despite layoffs and economic fluctuation, 46% of talent leaders say recruitment is a priority in 2023 according to Gartner. Plus, 50% of organisations still expect the competition for talent to increase significantly in the next six months, regardless of broader macroeconomic conditions. Employers seem to be taking a more measured approach to recruitment and “right-sizing” their workforce.

This means recruiting leaders must reprioritise recruiting strategies to align with current business needs, plan for multiple potential scenarios in this shifting market, and make decisions with great confidence using data. Despite a projected increase in the unemployment rate, organisations still face recruitment and retention challenges that affect business productivity.

To help employers succeed in their recruitment efforts, we take a look at the top seven workforce trends to watch for in 2023.

1. Closing Skills Gaps

According to Gartner, 64% of managers don’t think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs. A third (36%) of HR leaders say their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need.

With the rate of technological advancements, more and more employers are exploring ways to reskill and upskill their existing employees to create an agile and adaptive workforce for the future. Business leaders surveyed in 2022 for the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report said that about 40% of their workforce will require reskilling in the near future. LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report reveals that upskilling and reskilling are top priorities for today’s workers.

Organisations that invest in training for their workforce see greater employee retention. Companies that excel at internal mobility are more likely to retain employees. Shifting job requirements and an uncertain job market along with rapidly changing technology have left people feeling unprepared for their next career move and in need of additional support. In fact, 70% of employees say they haven’t even mastered the skills they need for their jobs today according to Gartner. Upskilling and reskilling opportunities help employees feel more confident in their roles as well as in their future with your company. Adding these opportunities will enable you to adapt and thrive under any circumstances.

2. Offering More Flexibility

In the wake of the acceleration of remote work, many employees are voluntarily quitting because of concerns about workplace flexibility, according to a 2022 survey conducted by business review website GoodFirms. The survey found that 70% of HR manager respondents pointed to flexibility as a reason for resignations, which is why many companies are making flexibility and work/life balance part of their workforce planning. In our own recent research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, surveyed candidates said that flexibility and work/life balance was the top consideration when evaluating a company.

Yet, there is a disconnect between what workers want and what employers offer when it comes to remote work. While job postings on LinkedIn for remote work have dropped in many countries, workers are still applying for remote roles in droves.

Workforce Trends
(Source: LinkedIn Economic Graph)

Organisations that rethink working patterns and adapt to candidate expectations will gain a significant edge over their competitors. Offering remote work, flexible hours, four-day work weeks, and job sharing may require significant workforce planning to ensure your organisation can maximise productivity while also keeping employees engaged. However, it’s worth it for many organisations, especially those struggling to hire for critical roles.

3. Shifting to Contingent Workers

The desire for flexibility has not only changed when, where and how we work, but also the type of work we seek. The number of freelance workers in the U.S. has grown to a record 60 million as professionals have left full-time work to pursue short-term assignments and contract work.

Employers are making the shift as well. In the six months from May to November 2022, the share of paid job postings on LinkedIn for contract positions increased 26% compared to the same six-month period from the year before. With chronic skills shortages, organisations are clearly looking to contractors and freelancers to supplement their workforce strategy without the expense that comes with full-time employees. These workers can also offer the unique skills and experiences needed to complete specific projects and help fill roles during a leave of absence or while your company assesses future workforce needs.

4. Tapping into New Talent Pools

The labour market has shrunk due to the retirement of Baby Boomers—accelerated by the pandemic—but also because there are fewer people joining the workforce. Not only is the upcoming population smaller and not replacing the Boomers who are leaving the workforce, but one in 10 young people aged 18 to 24 say they never intend to work. Employers are having to work harder to appeal to disillusioned Gen Z-ers.

Meanwhile, talent acquisition leaders are looking to expand their talent pools to fill workforce gaps. D&I and social mobility efforts are focused on bringing in untapped talent groups. Plus, some organisations are looking to their existing employees to fill critical roles in other areas. We’re currently helping a financial service organisation assess employees in their bank branches to find individuals with hidden aptitudes that can be trained as software engineers to support their web and app development initiatives.

In the wake of The Great Resignation, we’re now seeing a rise in boomerang employees—workers who voluntarily resign from your company only to join again later. Workers who left due to extenuating personal circumstances—and even those who went to seek greener grass—can serve as a strong new talent pool and shouldn’t be counted out. They’ll come in with an understanding of the business and can get up and running quickly, often bringing along new skills or fresh perspectives that can propel your business forward.

Another group boomeranging is Baby Boomers as some call for The Great Unretirement. In the UK, over-50s make up 76% of the 830K people who left work during the pandemic. The Government’s latest “back to work” budget rolled out a number of tactics to entice this age group back to work including a new “returnership” apprenticeship program. For employers to tap into this talent pool, they must offer flexibility through part-time and remote work.

5. Rallying Around the Mission

Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) are increasingly on the mind of HR leaders as employees and candidates are concerned with the ethical and sustainability impact of their employer. More than ever, candidates are searching for work they find meaningful and an employer that shares their values—especially the Millennial and Gen Z workforce.

Our research revealed that for 50% of candidates, an organisation’s mission and purpose are a key influence on their decision to apply. Yet, when evaluating career sites, we found details on the mission or purpose of the organisation less than half (48%) of the time.

According to a study by Mercer, employers with high employee satisfaction and attractiveness scores have significantly higher ESG scores than their peers. HR leaders in particular are focused on the social elements of ESG including diversity, equity, and inclusion—and ensuring their workplace is an environment where everyone can be productive.

6. Prioritising Employee Well-Being

Burnout is still on the rise globally. In a recent poll from Gallup, 44% of employees revealed they experienced stress during much of the previous day. So, it’s no surprise that 42% of the workforce is reporting burnout—an all-time high.

On top of that, in the UK alone, there are 2.2M people inactive in the workforce due to long-term sickness and disability. Moreover, the biggest rise in workforce inactivity since the pandemic due to illness has not been among 50 to 64-year-olds as one might expect, but among those aged between 18 and 24.

With so many people out of the workforce due to long-term illness and stress, employee well-being is becoming a top priority for many organisations, as they recognise the importance of supporting employee mental and physical health. In fact, 79% of employees are likely to stay at a company that offers high-quality mental health resources, and 67% of leaders cited improvement in productivity when mental health support is offered.

According to the World Health Organisation, anxiety and depression, two of the most common mental health conditions, cost the global economy $1 trillion (USD) each year.

7. Engaging Outside Talent Acquisition Solutions

While the current economic outlook may have some employers proceeding with caution, business leaders are optimistic about the future. In fact, 85% of leaders said they anticipate their revenue to increase year over year.

Meanwhile, 46% said that staffing would be their top operational challenge for the year ahead. With uncertainty looming, companies may need to reassess their recruitment efforts and create a more agile workforce to evolve for the future. Developing a more flexible model is more critical now than ever in a shifting workplace landscape.

Having trusted guidance at these crucial moments can make all the difference. A talent partner offers a variety of solutions to help organisations attract and hire the right candidates. Whether you’re hiring full-time employees or need to supplement your contingent workforce for a temporary project or long-term assignment, a talent partner can help build and execute a talent acquisition strategy that works.

Check Out Our Report To Learn More About The Future Of Work

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

The Multigenerational Workforce: How to Hire and Retain Older Workers

The aging workforce is a key factor shaping the future of work. In most major economies today, there are around six workers for every retiree. By 2030, all Baby Boomers will have reached 65, the general retirement age threshold, meaning this figure is set to drop substantially.

As Boomers leave the workforce, employers are trying to stem the bleeding from the skills, knowledge, and experience they’ll take with them by finding ways to keep them on the payroll. Organisations that recognise the value of older workers can benefit from leveraging this talent pool. Here, we explore four strategies to help you retain older workers or entice them to return.

Who are the Baby Boomers?

First, let’s take a closer look at the demographic. Baby Boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964, the largest generation in history. This generation was born following World War II and lived through the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War, and massive technological advancements. They are a major force in the global economy and have built and defined the labour market we know today.

Boomers are the most affluent generation in history, and they are expected to pass on trillions of dollars to their children and grandchildren, which could reduce the labour participation of younger generations. Combined with today’s decreased birthrates, the global workforce is already shrinking as Boomers increasingly retire.

A Global Look at Retirement

According to Pew Research Centre, approximately 2 million Baby Boomers retire every year. In 2020, this number swelled to a historic high as 3 million workers retired from the workforce in the U.S. alone.

However, attitudes toward retirement vary widely across countries and are influenced by both culture and economics. For example, in the United States, where people value individualism and self-reliance, retirement is seen as a time to relax and enjoy life. But in Japan, there is a strong emphasis on collectivism and community, which can lead people to feel they should continue working and contributing to their circle.

Older Workers Percentage
(Source: Statista, OECD)

Despite people working longer in Japan, the country is projected to have a ratio of just 1.5 workers per retiree at the start of the next decade. In some of Europe’s biggest economies and the U.S., the outlook is not much better with figures hovering around the 2.4 mark. This is due to declining global birthrates, which has fallen by half since 1950. In short, there aren’t enough Millennials and Gen Z-ers to fill Boomers’ shoes.

The exodus of Boomers from the workforce is having a significant impact on the global economy, and some countries are beginning to raise the retirement age to push back the impending dropoff. Moreover, in recent months, as the cost of living has gone up, there’s been a surge in “unretirement” as some who left work during the pandemic are looking for jobs again.

Boomeranging Boomers: Why are Retirees Coming Back to Work?

In the UK, the number of people over 65 working or looking for work hit nearly 1.5 million in the second half of 2022—the highest level on record per the ONS. According to a recent report from Paychex, one in six retirees are considering returning to work.

Some common reasons for coming out of retirement cited in the report include:

  • Financial need. For some retirees, savings and pensions may not be enough to cover expenses, especially if they accrue medical bills. Over half (55%) of retirees who have returned to work say they needed more money. Going back to work, even part-time, can make a difference in their financial situation.
  • Lack of purpose. Jobs create structure and routine in an employee’s life. Losing this can be a difficult adjustment for some after retirement. Some may also feel they are no longer contributing to society or making a difference; returning to work can give these individuals a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Socialisation. Work provides a social outlet. In fact, 43% of retirees say feeling lonely is a motivator for returning to the workforce. Work creates opportunities to socialise as employees interact with co-workers and customers.
  • Boredom. Work can provide mental and physical stimulation for retirees. Boredom is cited as a reason for returning to work for 52% of survey respondents. Working can help older people stay sharp and active.
  • Enjoyment of work. Some retirees simply enjoy working. They may find their jobs to be challenging and rewarding, and they may not be ready to give them up when they reach retirement age.
Retaining Older Workers

Attracting & Retaining Older Workers

While older people may be keen to return to the workforce, the job they want in the latter part of their life won’t look like their previous career. They may seek to change how, when, and where they work—including moving to part-time positions or changing fields or job roles. If employers make certain concessions, Baby Boomers might be persuaded to stay a little longer, therefore preventing the “cliff-edge” effect.

So, how can you retain the older workers you have for a little longer or entice them back? Here are four things to consider.

1. Address Ageism in the Workplace

The majority (73%) of those in their 50s and 60s feel they share invaluable skills, experience, and knowledge with colleagues—but 16% believe it is not valued by their employer. Indeed, 62% of hiring managers admit they “are skeptical about hiring retirees.” It’s no wonder that 74% of working retirees “feel judged by co-workers because of their age.”

Creating a sense of inclusion and belonging is crucial for both attracting and retaining older workers. If you have a diversity training program in place, ensure that ageism is being addressed in your training materials. If you don’t have a training program, consider creating one. Not only will you see an improved business performance, benefiting your bottom line, but your employees of all ages will be more engaged, content and productive.

2. Add More Flexible Working Arrangements

Boomers may continue to work after retirement age, but that doesn’t mean they’re seeking the same kind of career. Few of this generation will want to continue working in a typical full-time contract after they hit 65. Family responsibilities and the desire for more leisure time are key concerns for them. Many won’t want to continue taking on high-pressure responsibilities either.

Flexibility and work/life balance are important across all age groups, with Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers rating it as a top consideration when looking for a job in a recent survey. Amongst retirees looking to return to work, 53% want a remote position according to the Paychex survey.

3. Provide Training & Mentoring

Older employees, especially those who have returned to the labour force from retirement, value opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Organisations that provide chances for older workers to expand their knowledge and skills have a stronger chance of retaining this talent pool. This could include things like offering new technology training or mentoring or coaching opportunities.

Reverse-mentoring programs have become a popular way to engage both older workers and younger employees who are hoping to build leadership skills. Unlike a typical mentorship, reverse-mentoring involves a younger employee mentoring an older, more experienced mentor. Not only can this help older workers develop digital skills, but it also contributes to a culture of inclusion.

4. Create Opportunities for Knowledge Transfer

While it’s important that older workers harness new skills, it’s equally crucial to ensure that skills aren’t lost from generation to generation. There is already a skills shortage in many fields, from haulage to engineering and healthcare to hospitality. Losing the Boomer demographic from the workforce will intensify the challenge of filling skilled roles—not to mention reduce the dissemination of knowledge for the generations that follow.

The biggest responsibility for Baby Boomers is knowledge transfer and mentoring. Organisations must create opportunities for more experienced employees to work closely with new joiners and less experienced colleagues to impart their wisdom and share their organisational and sector connections. This way organisations can ensure these skills, insights, and knowledge are not lost and can be leveraged for years to come.

Embracing the Aging Workforce

In this tight labour market, employers need to keep an eye out for opportunities to capitalise on the experience and knowledge that older workers possess, particularly as they withdraw from the labour market. Baby Boomers offer loyalty, passion, and confidence. Embracing the aging workforce could prove to be a lifeline for organisations that are planning for a future labour shortage.

Check Out Our Report To Learn More About The Future Of Work

Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work