The key words Generation X, Y and Z as well as employer branding are one of the most discussed subjects of the human resources at the present time.
What does that exactly mean? What are the differences between the generations? How can they influence the working world and the recruiting process? Each generation brings certain general and work-related behaviors, abilities, value systems and needs into the workplace. These can be expressed in a variety of ways (compare Oertel, 2014). In the first part of Recruiting Generations, the characteristics and needs of Generation X will be discussed.
Who is Generation X?
The Generation X, born in 1965 to 1980 provides the majority of the working population of the western society. True to the motto: “working to survive”. They pursue a successful career and a balanced work-life. Employers do not have a significant effort with the employees. They are very consumer-oriented and they are less interested in politics and world affairs.
Other names of this generation are “carefree” or “generation of golf” (for Germany). The general name derives from the novel “Generation X – Stories for a growing culture” by Coupland (1991). They have experienced the end of the “new-economy-bubble” and the chernobyl disaster. As well as rising unemployment and the economization of wide parts of society. Their values are characterized by the pursuit of security, prosperity and career. Early in their careers, they were confronted with various forms of group work, flexible working-time models and the increasing communication and information technologies (compare Eberhardt, 2016).
The “carefree” generation
The followers of this generation were often able to grow up in an economically stable parental home. Therefore, good education played an important role. Generation X is highly educated and partly internationally oriented. They are incredibly determined in their professional live, which leads to a later family foundation. The greatest challenge for them is the arrangement of professional and private life. They are parents of younger children and at the same time in leading positions with partial international responsibility (compare Eberhardt, 2016).
How to approach Generation X?
An advantage of this generation is that on the one hand, they have already collect great deals of experience and on the other hand they sill have few years in the professional world. But how do you speak to them as an employer? First of all, it is very important to be open-minded and communicative with them. They are authentic and educated and also want to be treated like this. A large part of generation X is represented on social media sites and also use them for their job search. Therefore, it is always important to publish jobs also on these sites. These should be creatively, but also informative. In addition, this generation does not like to wait and therefore quickly losses its interest in a company, it does not answer after a few days.
The Generation X represents very experienced and determined workers, who still have a few years to go to the pension. They are looking for a safe workplace with the possibility to continue or even start a successful career.