The Value of Generational Differences in the Workplace


When it comes to finding ideal candidates, there are many straight-forward aspects to consider, such as a candidates’ qualifications, schooling, recommendations, and so on. One aspect that is not so straight-forward is age. Organizations need to be extremely careful when considering a candidate’s age as a factor in the hiring process to avoid unlawful discrimination. However, there are many benefits that employees with generational differences can bring to your organization that are very helpful to be mindful of when hiring.

The best candidates do not fall within a single age group. From baby boomers to millennials, both generations offer unique benefits to most job positions. We’ll explore the overall benefits of generational differences in the workplace when hiring at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Baby Boomers Are Strong Communicators

Baby boomers grew up in an age in which social media, texting, and emails were not available. If they needed to discuss matters, ask for clarification, or share ideas, they had to communicate in person or on the telephone. This helped them develop strong communication skills and, by extension, strong leadership skills.

Baby Boomers Have a Passion for the Work

Many recruiters, managers, and executives may have a formed stigma that baby boomers have have little time left in the workforce. You may believe that they have plans to retire after only a few years, leaving you to have to restart your hiring process. However, this isn’t always true since many baby boomers work because they enjoy it and have a passion for it, meaning they are engaged, dedicated, and focused. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project, only 17% of individuals over the age of 65 work because they need money; 54% of those individuals work simply because they want to.

Millennials Are Tech-Savvy

Millennials have grown up using a variety of technology. Proficiency in most computer programs in the workforce is just one skill many millennials possess. Through this and other tech skills, millennials can offer significant contributions when it comes to improving tech, streamlining processes, and generating ideas. Furthermore, these candidates can take and company marketing to a whole new level with their expertise on each platform.

Millennials Are Willing to Be More Flexible with Work Hours

Millennials are typically more flexible when it comes to work hours. They would rather work remotely, weekends, and longer hours, while baby boomers typically would prefer to work 9 to 5 with weekends free from work-related tasks. However, keep in mind that millennials are more likely to expect incentives, such as higher pay or more time off for their willingness to work on weekends.

The Verdict

Avoid age bias by considering the benefits that a candidate’s generational bracket may bring to the position. Be sure to consider all the details of the job to determine which individual would be best suited for the position at hand. Be certain that the candidate you select is capable of handling all the requirements of the position and has the right attitude and aptitude to do the job well.

Having a good mixture of age groups with a wide range of different skill sets in the workplace can make room for a diverse, informative, and innovative environment.

Alisiana Peters

Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.