The Generational Job Search

JobWith so many different generations in the workforce, a brand new layer has been added to the hiring process. Not only do employers have to take into account a potential employee’s qualifications, demeanor, and background, they also must consider what an employee wants out of a job and how said person is going about searching for jobs. A large portion of these two things are based on which generation said potential employee is a part of. It turns out, members of different generations go about job searching in different ways. Taking note of these differences will help employers make the best decision about which employees to offer a job, and how to find the employees they want.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers represent one of the oldest generations in the job market. There are, however, the most likely to utilize social networks in their job search. They have the highest percentage of job seekers looking for potential jobs on LinkedIn, for example. They are also the generation that has the most activity on online job boards. This is most likely because they are searching for types of jobs that are typical to these boards, such as higher up positions in well-known corporations. As a result, a Baby Boomer will arrive at an interview after having done extensive research on the company website. They are generally well prepared.

Generation X

Unlike the other two generations searching for jobs, Generation X is entirely frustrated with the process. They are at an age in which they may be raising a family, paying off a mortgage, and/or dealing with other expenses that pile up in their time of life. Therefore, employees from this generation value job security over pay. They are willing to take lesser paying jobs, as long as they know they will be able to have those jobs for a long period of time. Unemployment causes this generation the most emotional distress, so they are looking to be hired quickly.


Millennials are the generation of optimism. Members of this generation tend to look more for jobs in which they will feel fulfilled, rather than jobs that will simply pay the bills. They are also the most optimistic about being able to find new jobs, which may be connected to the fact that they apply for jobs in industries that need employees quickly, such as in retail or in startup environments. They are most likely to utilize social media and friends as a part of their job hunt.

While it is not recommended to pigeonhole every person you meet into a generational category, it is necessary to keep up with trends for job seekers in different generations. This will help you find the most qualified employees possible for your company.