Tips to Run Successful Generational Hiring Campaigns

Have you tried this fantastic recruitment strategy called “casting a wider net?” It’s the buzzword that has been swarming around for the past few years and has haunted the dreams of recruiters, sourcers and talent acquisition professionals. 

It seems so simple, right? Open the door to more talent, and they’ll just come flocking in, and then BAM, presto, you’ve solved our economic crisis and today’s 11 million open roles

But in reality, what does it even mean? How do you, logistically, “cast a wider net?” And how does said width of the net appeal to the unique people in today’s labor force?

The fact is that we have more open roles than people working, and we have five generations to tap into – which is actually more complicated than helpful, given that each generation has differing drivers and motivations for accepting jobs. 

So what do we do? You run generational hiring campaigns. 

What are generational hiring campaigns?

Generational hiring campaigns leverage targeted recruitment marketing programs that hone in on each generation’s specific values, beliefs and drivers in today’s job market.

According to Purdue University, there are five generations in the workforce, with Generation X and Millennials leading the largest participation groups.

generational hiring campaign
These five generations have endured unique challenges and global events that have shaped their worldviews. They’ve also each begun working and transitioned into work through varying stages of technology and digital transformations.

These external factors impact each generation’s current needs from employers. By understanding these drivers and influencers, recruitment marketing tactics can be created to appeal to talent in each group.

How do you create generational hiring campaigns?

To create a generational hiring campaign, you should first understand the nuances of each generation.

Generation X: People born between 1965 - 1980.

Generation X makes up 33% of today’s labor force. That’s about a third of the entire workforce. Therefore you should 1000% be crafting specific recruitment marketing programs to influence this large talent pool

How do you attract Gen X?

  • Communication style: This group enjoys efficiency. They have adapted to technologies and mastered the most efficient tools. And unlike some of the newer generations shielded by tech their whole lives, this group prefers calls and face-to-face to complete the project sooner.
  • Drivers and influencers: Gen X values diversity and work-life balance. They look for organizations that portray a culture that includes diversity and inclusion employee resource groups (ERG) and has a clear employee value proposition (EVP)

NOTE: Gen X will move on to a new organization if they feel undervalued. 

To build a successful hiring campaign for Generation X:

  1. Evaluate your EVP. Ensure your EVP reflects your current culture by asking your ERGs to review it and weigh in. Your EVP is fluid – it changes as your employee base shifts and world events occur. 
  2. Highlight your ERGs and your EVP on your career websites. Gen X can’t see themselves working at your organization unless they know your culture. Feature your ERGs, real employee testimonials and organizational commitments on your career site to reel them in. 
  3. Showcase your diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. These initiatives and programs should be front and center on your recruitment marketing touchpoints (we’re talking about your talent pool emails, career websites, imagery and videos). 

Want to learn more about diversity recruitment tactics to help you attract Gen X? Check out our latest guide to diversity recruitment.  

Millennials: People born between 1981 - 2000.

Millennials comprise the largest group (35%) of today’s labor force. By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be millennials (we’re taking over!)

How do you attract Millennials?

  • Communication style: This group enjoys technology. Unlike Gen X, phone calls are out, and texts are in. Millennials like instant messaging, email and text messages. It’s easy to respond when you’re ready and searchable to refer back to later when you need it. 
  • Drivers and influencers: Millennials like a challenge and expect growth opportunities. They are also heavily influenced by the organization’s commitments to societal concerns.

NOTE: Millenials will quickly move on if your organization doesn’t commit to global events. According to Deloitte, fifty percent of Millennials want to work for organizations with ethical practices. 

To build a successful hiring campaign for Millenials:

  1. Evaluate your organization’s commitment to social issues. Feature your employer brand and its stance on societal concerns on your website – specifically your career site and about us page.
  2. Highlight your mobility opportunities. Millennials want growth. They need to see how they can advance their careers with you. This group tends to job hop, but if you show them they can grow with you, you make a strong retention play. 
  3. Showcase your authentic culture. Millennials can spot a poser a mile away. Stock imagery on your career websites and talent network communications are a no-go. Millennials expect to see real people. 

Want to learn more about hiring campaign tactics that appeal to Millenials? Check out “Your Guide to Accelerating Candidate Connections.” 

Generation Z: People born between 2000 - 2020.

By 2030, 33% of the workforce will be Gen Z. In a few short years, this group will replace Generation X and make up a third of the workforce. 

How do you attract Gen Z?

  • Communication style: Gen Z was born into technology (think of every toddler you see, they always have an iPad or phone glued to their faces.) So it isn’t surprising that this group expects instant communication and frequent touchpoints. They are power users of tools like Slack, social media and chatbots.
  • Drivers and influencers: Gen Z is also heavily influenced by social and political events. They expect diversity, equity and inclusion programs. They also expect technology to integrate into their jobs and value individuality and personalization. 

NOTE: Gen Z identifies as device addicts. They are a great talent pool to leverage programmatic job advertising to get in front of their faces. 

To build a successful hiring campaign for Gen Z:

  1. Evaluate your organization’s commitment to social issues. Just like Millenials, Gen Z wants you to feature your employer brand and its stance on societal concerns on your website.
  2. Highlight your technology – during the recruitment process. This group will expect you to answer immediately. Lean into chatbots, job alerts, programmatic advertising and all those instant, automated communications. 
  3. Showcase your employer’s brand on social media. Gen Z will look for you on social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. It’s time to lean into social media recruitment campaigns

Want to learn more about social media hiring campaign tactics that appeal to Gen Z? Check out “TikTok, A/B Testing, and Long Term Planning: 2021 Learnings to Apply to Your 2022 Strategy (feat. Amazon, Mars UK, Sky Betting & Gaming).” 

Want to learn more?

Recently Symphony Talent polled LinkedIn users on if they were currently creating generational hiring campaigns. 

  • 27% have generational hiring campaigns today 
  • 33% are gearing up for generational hiring campaigns
  • 40% are planning to start 

generational hiring campaign poll

Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest information on recruitment marketing tactics and hiring campaigns.