9 Strategies for Attracting Generational Talent to Enterprise-Level Organizations


Enterprise organizations now interact with five generations in the workforce — Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. While there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to recruiting talent across these workers, there are specific strategies that can enhance the effectiveness of talent acquisition programs.

We’ve gathered insights from seasoned talent acquisition leaders and recruiters, distilling their strategies into nine key approaches. From leveraging social media for recruitment to embracing a multi-faceted recruitment approach, these professionals share their successful tactics and the positive impacts they’ve seen within their organizations.

  • Address Universal Worker Needs
  • Offer Workplace Flexibility
  • Leverage Social Media for Recruitment
  • Remove Educational Barriers
  • Adapt to Generational Preferences
  • Tailor Multigenerational Recruitment
  • Foster a Mentorship Culture
  • Provide Competitive Compensation Packages
  • Embrace a Multi-Faceted Recruitment Approach

Address Universal Worker Needs

Look at the common ground between every generation. Research shows that workers across every generation hold a similar set of needs and leave old roles to seek out something new for the same reasons. Professionals want fair compensation, career development opportunities, and caring leadership to be happy. That’s true whether you’re 25 or 60. Those are the most important aspects of work that serve as the foundation for any employer branding efforts we make.

If you want to attract generational talent effectively, the messaging can largely be the same, but you must put your business out there in diverse places that attract people of all ages and backgrounds.

Robert Kaskel, Chief People Officer, Checkr

Offer Workplace Flexibility

One strategy that I have found will consistently attract job seekers to an opportunity, regardless of their age or what generation they belong to, is to offer workplace and scheduling flexibility. While this is mostly cited as an attractive benefit for Gen Z and Millennial talent, the truth is that members of Gen X and the Baby Boomer generation are just as likely to be drawn to opportunities that allow for schedule flexibility or have a hybrid/remote option.

While those from older generations are more likely to prefer in-office work, they are also at a stage of their life where they may be caretakers for aging parents, or may have health concerns of their own that limit their mobility or require healthcare visits during the week. Particularly if you live in a part of the world that gets seasonal inclement weather, having an as-needed hybrid arrangement allows workers of all generations to skip their commute when it would be stressful or dangerous, and this is something they consistently appreciate.

This is also a highly desirable benefit on the other end of the age spectrum, with many Gen Z and Millennial professionals seeing remote work and flexibility as crucial to maintaining their work/life balance.

The bottom line is, if you are having difficulty attracting talent to a role, finding ways to make the position more flexible and easier to fit alongside other responsibilities in a candidate’s life can help you to draw more applicants from any generation, and can be a useful approach to building a multi-generational workforce.

Rob Boyle, Marketing Operations Director, Airswift

Leverage Social Media for Recruitment

Using social media to recruit has been one of the best ways to attract top talent. Put content out there regularly and consistently. LinkedIn has been my ‘go-to’ for years and has had the best ROI.

Caroline Pennington, Executive Search Recruiter, Podcast Host, Founder, Feminine Founder

Remove Educational Barriers

Not having educational requirements has helped to attract generational talent. Hardly anyone actually works in the field they were educated in, so what’s the point of requiring that for a job role? Rather, aim to attract people with real-world experience. This way, you will have candidates applying from varying generations.

Jarir Mallah, Human Resources Manager, Ling App

Adapt to Generational Preferences

Employers must understand the unique preferences and expectations of different generations in order to effectively attract top talent across all levels and functions. To implement effective talent attraction strategies, it is also necessary to evaluate various competitors and adapt to economic trends.

Currently, generations are categorized based on their employment status: Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, Traditionalists. The workforce generations have certain preferences and can be generalized to a certain extent; however, each talent is unique and may require optional customization.

These are my three top categorical methods of attracting talent that have worked across the board. Creating a robust employer brand helps enhance an organization’s reputation and makes it more attractive to potential talent. This can be achieved by promoting a positive culture, showcasing and fostering the organization’s core values and mission objectives, and highlighting the organization’s benefits, policies, employee growth, etc.

Compensation and benefits are very critical considerations for most job seekers. Well-structured and competitive compensation, comprehensive insurance coverages, annuity plans, and unique benefits can help attract top talent. Flexible benefits programs for employees to choose from a list can do wonders across various generations.

Social media platforms are critically leveraged for both employer and talent branding to offer meaningful stories to promote an organization’s philosophy, culture, and opportunities. By creating engaging content of various forms, written, video, pictorial, live discussions, webinars, etc., employers have wide methods to reach out to a variety of potential talent. Some of this content can and will create lasting impressions across generational talent.

Although offline channels may seem outdated, there are numerous ways of physical advertising or content display that still help to add to the overall attraction strategy.

Raj Paul, Senior Manager – Talent Acquisition, Razorpay

Tailor Multigenerational Recruitment

Implementing a multigenerational recruitment strategy has proven successful in attracting diverse talent to our enterprise-level organization. Recognizing the unique preferences and priorities of different generations, our talent acquisition team tailors recruitment efforts to resonate with a broad spectrum of candidates. This includes personalized communication channels, flexible work arrangements, and targeted benefits that appeal to various age groups.

The positive outcomes observed include an increase in the overall talent pool, fostering a more dynamic and collaborative work environment. Moreover, this strategy has enhanced employee engagement and retention as individuals feel their diverse needs are acknowledged and accommodated. It has contributed to a more innovative and inclusive workplace culture, leveraging the strengths of each generation for the collective success of the organization.

Regular feedback loops and staying attuned to evolving generational trends continue to refine and reinforce the effectiveness of this approach.

Steven Mostyn, Chief Human Resources Officer, Management.org

Foster a Mentorship Culture

Implementing a targeted mentorship program has proven immensely successful in attracting generational talent to our enterprise. By pairing experienced employees with emerging professionals, we foster a collaborative environment that transcends age barriers. This approach not only facilitates knowledge transfer, but also promotes a culture of continuous learning and inclusivity.

The positive outcomes have been remarkable. Younger employees gain valuable insights and skills from seasoned mentors, accelerating their professional development. Simultaneously, experienced staff benefit from fresh perspectives and tech-savvy insights. This dynamic exchange enhances overall productivity and innovation across the organization. Additionally, the mentorship program has contributed to a more cohesive and engaged workforce, leading to increased employee satisfaction and retention.

Pat Schirripa, CEO, People 2U

Provide Competitive Compensation Packages

The one approach that consistently works to attract individuals across generations is to offer a competitive compensation package. No matter their age or experience, all employees want to be fairly compensated for the work they provide for a company. Offering a salary that is equal to or greater than that offered by other companies in your industry, combined with comprehensive health benefits and a robust PTO/leave policy, will draw in top talent from every generation.

Beyond this, the specific generation that you are aiming to target will impact the best strategy to get their attention. For companies aiming to attract Gen Z and Millennial talent, focusing on career advancement, professional development, and work-life balance will be the best strategy.

Flexibility is a big draw for these workers. If the role is one that can be done remotely at least part of the time, then offering a hybrid or remote work option can be a major draw. These workers are also more likely to be in the early or middle stages of their careers, so options like mentorship, professional development, upskilling programs, or a strong track record of internal promotions can be very appealing, sending them the signal that this is a company where they can grow their career for years to come.

To wrap up, I do want to highlight mentorship in particular as a great way to build generational talent in an organization. While Millennial and Gen Z candidates are the ones who will be most likely to have interest in becoming a mentee, those from Gen X and Boomer generations may also be attracted to a company that has these programs if they are looking to take on a mentor role.

Many older workers, particularly those who are mindful of legacy and advancing the next generation, will enjoy the opportunity to serve as mentors as part of their role. Implementing this kind of program can also create a more cohesive multi-generational work environment within the company because it increases the exposure and communication between generations. We leverage mentorship within our own organization and encourage the client companies we work with to do the same, primarily because of these benefits to the work environment that we feel come as a result of mentorship.

Jon Hill, Chairman & CEO, The Energists

Embrace a Multi-Faceted Recruitment Approach

One effective strategy for attracting generational talent to an enterprise-level organization is implementing a multi-faceted approach that acknowledges and embraces the unique characteristics and preferences of different generations in the workforce. This approach involves tailoring recruitment efforts, employer branding, and workplace culture initiatives to resonate with each generational cohort.

The first step is to conduct thorough research to understand each generation’s values, priorities, and communication preferences within the organization, and to avoid stereotyping. For instance, Baby Boomers may prioritize stability and loyalty, Generation X may value work-life balance and autonomy, Millennials may seek purpose-driven work and growth opportunities, and Gen Z may prioritize flexibility and technological advancement.

Once these insights are gathered, organizations can customize their recruitment strategies accordingly. This could involve leveraging diverse channels to reach different generations, such as traditional job boards for older generations and social media platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram for younger ones. Additionally, incorporating language and messaging in job postings and employer branding materials that resonate with each demographic can significantly enhance the organization’s appeal.

Lekeshia Hicks, CEO, Lekeshia Angelique Consulting