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Stuck in the Middle: Reaching Out to Gen X Candidates

In between the growing numbers of Generation Y (Gen Y or Millennials) professionals entering the workforce post graduation and the Baby Boomers who want to remain working longer than their predecessors, you will find Generation X. Roughly between the ages of 32 and 52, Gen X-ers are currently the smallest working population – yet, they are resilient and often forgotten when recruiting efforts arise. Companies see the value of the tech savvy Millennials and the work ethic of the Baby Boomers, but what do Gen X-ers bring to the workplace?

Traits of Gen X

  • Self-reliant and like minimal supervision – often strive for management/senior positions or entrepreneurship
  • Value individualism and working alone
  • Practical, yet willing to take risks

Priorities of Gen X

  • Work-life balance
  • Quality of work
  • Control of their career path

With the mass downsizing of the recent recession, most Gen X employees found themselves in a unfavorable situation. While Baby Boomers are refusing to move out, and onboarding Gen Y-ers is more cost effective, Gen X saw their mid-level positions being cut. Now with the economic climate looking brighter, these professionals are looking to stay in the workplace for the long haul.

Here’s how to attract and recruit the best of Gen X:

Stay Connected

Gen X-ers were the forerunners in the Age of Information and the Dot Com Bubble, so they aren’t as removed from the digital shift as their predecessors. Between the hours of 9am and 5pm, a third of Gen X is logged into Facebook. Additionally, 76 percent of Gen X-ers, above both Baby Boomers and Gen Y, use online databases in their job search. They know their way around online networks and are actively looking for the right position.

Write Job Descriptions Fit For Them

Direct and immediate communication is valued by Gen X, so be sure to incorporate that into your job descriptions. Stated earlier, jobs fit for Gen X-ers are ones where they yield full accountability and can be a self-starter. Short text is not necessarily the goal, but keeping it concise and to the point is ideal.

Communicate Your Culture

What motivates Gen X is the ability to throw away the status quo and do it their own way. If your organization’s culture is reflective of that, Gen X candidates will flock. On your career site, describe your mission and values, use employee profiles to talk about their experiences, and what your organization has done differently than the rest. Gen X is known for going against the grain, so be creative in your message.

What do you think? What do you think of Gen X professionals? What other ways can you attract them to your company? Share with us!

Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash