The Multigenerational Workforce: Gen Z in the Workplace

To continue our series, The Multigeneration Workforce, this article explores the challenges and opportunities of Gen Z in the workplace. For the first time in modern history, four generations are working side-by-side: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. The ratios will change over the coming years—and so will each group’s level of influence.  

Gen Z is overtaking Baby Boomers as the largest generation history, boasting an incredible two billion people globally, and is set to become the largest demographic in the workplace by the end of the decade. Leaders must not underestimate the impact this generation’s ideas and perspective will have on the world and the workplace. By understanding their needs and preferences, you can attract, engage and hire the best Gen Z talent to propel your workforce into the future. 

Who is Gen Z? 

While sources vary, Gen Z is generally defined as the generation born approximately between 1995 and 2010. They are the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media and have come of age in a time marked by 9/11, polarized politics, economic fluctuations and climate woes. They watched their parents lose jobs during the Great Recession. Then, they experienced the biggest educational and workplace disruption in modern history as COVID-19 lockdowns led to their classes moving online, a surge in unemployment and psychological distress.  

As voracious consumers and creators of digital media, they focus on curating their online presence and have developed an “unapologetically me” ideology. As a result, they are generally socially progressive and value diversity.  

Perhaps ironically, growing up in this hyperconnected online world has also fueled feelings of isolation and loneliness among many Gen Z-ers. Seeing friends posting content and having fun (cue the #FOMO), alongside the pressure to keep on top of social trends, can make the feelings of disconnection even more acute, leading to increases in depression and anxiety.

Gen Z in the workplace

What Matters to Gen Z in the Workplace? 

Gen Z-ers have different expectations and priorities than previous generations of workers. They’ve expressed less loyalty than past cohorts and are more pragmatic. They don’t assume they’ll have a social safety net upon retirement since seeing layoffs and pensions shrinking.  

Here are some more characteristics to look out for when hiring Gen Z candidates. 

Fighting for Social Change  

After witnessing the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements as well as the increased frequency of natural disasters due to climate change, Gen Z is seeking employment that matches their personal values. They believe in their ability to make a difference individually and are also demanding that employers do their part to help build a better future.  

LinkedIn released a global study of nearly 10,000 professionals which found that 68% of workers in the UK, France, Germany and Ireland consider it important to work for companies that are aligned with their values. In the U.S., it’s higher at 87%. Gen Z is driving this shift, with nearly 90% in Europe saying they would leave a job to work somewhere that better matches their values.  

Digitally Native but Digitally Unsure 

Growing up with access to the internet and mobile devices has led to a widespread presumption that Gen Z-ers are innately good with tech. However, new research shows this may not be the case at work.  

One in five of the 18-to-29-year-olds polled in HP’s Hybrid Work: Are We There Yet? report said they felt judged when experiencing technical issues in the workplace. Furthermore, this “tech shame” leads 25% of young professionals to actively avoid participating in a meeting if they think it will expose their tech shortcomings.  

Generation Disenchanted? 

Much has been said about the number of older workers taking early retirement, but the biggest rise in inactivity since the pandemic has not been among Baby Boomers, but workers aged between 18 and 24. In the UK, the share of workers in this age group classed as economically inactive—meaning they’re not actively working or looking for a job—stood at a record high of 32% in the second quarter of 2022. Plus, of those who are students or currently unemployed, 1 in 10 said they never intend to start working.  

In a rejection of the “girlboss” and “hustle culture”, the hashtag #IDontDreamOfLabor has taken off as a platform for Gen Z to speak candidly about their rejection of work as the basis for identity, framing it instead as a financial necessity for paying the bills. In the shadow of the Great Resignation, Gen Z is vocal about the role of work in their lives—sometimes to viral acclaim. Some have taken to TikTok to coach their peers on how to negotiate salaries, which red flags to look out for in the interview process and how to stick up for what they want at work.  

The formative experience of the Great Recession combined with entering the workforce during the pandemic has taught young people that hard work doesn’t necessarily guarantee stability. They want better than what their parents had and aren’t shy about demanding more from their employers. Organizations who can navigate these expectations will win the hearts of Generation Z. 

Gen Z at work

Strategies for Engaging Gen Z at Work

To help Gen Z workers become as productive and successful as possible, employers need to showcase their values and offer a combination of ongoing wellbeing support and robust skills training.  

1. Evaluate Your Employer Brand for Gen Z 

As most young people seeking employment with a company they can believe in, it’s important to build an employer brand that resonates with Gen Z values. In the recent global study, Inside the Candidate Experience, PeopleScout found that the top things Gen Z job seekers look for when evaluating a job are: 

  1. Mission and purpose 
  1. Flexible working and work/life balance 
  1. DE&I; Company culture (tied) 

With mission and purpose as the top factor for Gen Z job seekers, it’s surprising how few organizations include this information on their career websites. On the sites we examined, we found an organization’s mission and purpose less than half (48%) of the time. This means that half of companies are passing up an opportunity to engage emotionally with their young talent audiences and assist prospects in understanding how the job they have applied for fits into that goal. Candidates won’t look at your open roles if they can’t identify your mission on your careers site. 

2. Embrace Social Media  

Despite concern over how much Gen Z-ers use and consume social media, it is their main way of staying connected, so it is imperative for employers to have a strong presence on social. Two-thirds of candidates use social media to research companies during their job search. Yet, a third of employers are not posting career related content (above and beyond job listings) to their social channels at least once a week.  

Favorite social platforms for Gen Z include TikTok, Instagram and YouTube—so consider creating video content to engage talent from this generation. “Day in the life” videos are a great way to provide a realistic job preview and show early careers talent what it’s like to work at your organization. 

3. Showcase Your DE&I Efforts 

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is a top consideration for Gen Z candidates when looking for a job, and they’ll be scrutinizing any employer to separate lip service from authentic DE&I action. When candidates from underrepresented groups are searching for jobs, the right job title might be enough to get them to click on a posting—but whether they actually apply is influenced by what they read and hear about how an organization treats its people.  

Representation matters, and employers who showcase employees across a range of demographics show candidates that people from diverse backgrounds can flourish at their organization. Ensure your recruitment communications include voices and stories from underrepresented groups at all levels of the organization.  

Employers should also strive for transparency with their diversity recruitment data and share any plans they have in place to shift the dial around representation. Then, when candidates from underrepresented groups encounter similar voices throughout the recruitment process, they’ll realize that not only are they welcome at the organization, but they’ll also have the opportunity to thrive and progress.  

4. Offer Employee Mental Wellness Benefits 

Growing up entirely in the digital age has undeniably had an impact on how this generation interacts with others. With fewer in-person exchanges, some 37% of Gen Z feels worried that technology weakens their ability to maintain strong interpersonal relationships and develop people skills. Living in a world of non-stop communication through apps and social media also contributes to mental health conditions like anxiety. The strain of modern living on mental health has been further exacerbated by the pandemic and lockdown life. 

Gen Z-ers are proud advocates for mental health, sharing their experiences and removing the stigma around depression and anxiety. According to Cigna International Health’s 2023 survey of almost 12,000 workers around the world, 91% of 18-to-24-year-olds report being stressed. And they’re looking for support from their employer. A whopping 92% of university students say employers should offer mental well-being benefits, and more than a third (36%) are prioritizing those who do as they start their careers. 

Employee assistance programs, employee resource groups and workplace mental health training are all ways employers are creating a culture that promotes mental health and wellbeing. Gen Z will be drawn to employers who are joining the conversation around mental health and creating a safe space to raise and address these issues. 

5. Highlight Growth Opportunities for Gen Z

Worryingly, 37% of young people say their education did not adequately prepare them with the technology skills they need for their career. This digital native generation is lacking in the digital literacy most organizations need to fuel future innovation.  

Gen Z is prioritizing employers who demonstrate investment in developing their employees’ skills and career paths. Employers who highlight training, mentoring and professional development programs in their recruitment materials will satisfy Gen Z’s ambition and desire to grow.  

Training for new Gen Z joiners should center around soft skills like resilience, relationship building and empathy, enabling people from this cohort to manage their own stress levels effectively and to understand when and how they should ask for help. Face-to-face support and mentoring programs are a core elements of training for Gen Z in the workplace. Mentoring and reverse mentoring are being widely embraced by organizations across industries, enabling more senior employees to share their experience with the younger generation to counteract skills gaps, while also tapping into the knowledge and insights of Gen Z in the areas of social trends and digital media.  

Gen Z in the Workplace: Embracing Positive Change 

As organizations plan for the future of work, they must work harder to appeal to the savvy Generation Z-ers entering the workforce. While most employers understand the importance of inclusivity and ethical decision-making, this generation will hold them accountable to putting those principles into action. Employers must embrace these values and the positive changes brought by Gen Z in the workplace. Talent acquisition leaders should keep their finger on the pulse of how these young workers will shape how we hire and develop talent in the coming decades. 

Check out our report to learn more about the future of work:

Future of Work


Employee Retention by the Numbers

Survey results from McKinsey and Company show that 40% of employees across Australia, Canada, Singapore, the UK and the U.S. are likely to leave their jobs. To that end, below are key facts and figures that illustrate the current state of hiring and how organizations can recalibrate to improve employee retention in 2023.  

Hiring Takes the Back Burner…

…As Retention Takes Priority

Employers Don’t Understand Why Employees Leave 

More Important to Employees than Employers Appreciate:

  • Valued by organization
  • Valued by manager
  • Sense of belonging
  • Potential for advancement
  • Having caring and trusting teammates
  • Flexible work schedule

(Source: McKinsey & Company)

Flexible Work Matters 

64% of the global workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time.  

52% of employees are even willing to accept a pay cut—up to 11%—to maintain flexible, hybrid work arrangements. 

(Source: ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View)

Employees Crave Development & Growth 

Career progression is the No.1 pull factor attracting employees to new jobs. 

(Source: Achievers 2022 Engagement and Retention Report)

76% of employees would stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support. 

(Source: Microsoft Work Trend Index Special Report)

Internal Mobility Makes a Difference 

Workers who have no visibility into internal career opportunities are 61% more likely to have plans to quit their job. 

Employees who make an internal move are more likely to stay at their organization longer than those who stay in the same role.

Keeping the Human in Human Resources: 3 Employee Retention Strategies for 2023

After the last three years, there’s no doubt that we could all use a deep breath. But, with economic uncertainty filling the air, we haven’t quite reached a steady state. Instead, now’s the time to reflect on all that’s been learned throughout the last few years and recalibrate your strategies to better succeed in today’s reality. In fact, this work has already begun, with new research suggesting that talent acquisition is no longer a leading priority among employers. Instead, a focus on employee retention strategies takes the lead.

According to Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy Report, 40% of HR professionals surveyed said that talent acquisition was a top priority in 2021. By 2022, that number had dropped to 17%, with the surveyed professionals indicating that retention would be a leading priority over talent acquisition heading into 2023. Notably, this data tracks globally, as a recent Global Talent Trends report from LinkedIn highlighted decreasing hiring rates from 2021 to 2022 across a sample of 14 countries.  

During the current economic downturn, it’s clear that employers are looking inward at how they can retain their best people. So, how can your organization foster an environment where people don’t want to leave? Consider these three tips for increasing employee retention in 2023:  

1. Establish a Strong Sense of Purpose & Belonging 

According to a study from McKinsey and Company, the relational factors that are most important to employees—such as feeling valued and a sense of belonging—are often overlooked by employers who falsely assume transactional factors (such as compensation) are most important to employees.   

Consider these tips for establishing a sense of belonging with your employees:  

  • Train managers on how to have meaningful conversations with employees.  
  • Encourage managers to be invested in employees’ personal and professional aspirations.  
  • Make vulnerability a normal practice among leaders, managers, and contributors.  
  • Establish a strong DE&I program, complete with employee resource groups

Along the same lines, there’s no better way to foster a connection to your organization than by recognizing employees who live your purpose in practice. Whether it’s via a team email, internal newsletter or social media post; identify employees who embody your organization’s purpose. They’ll feel valued, and others will be encouraged to find ways to integrate that purpose into their daily lives, as well.  

2. Maintain Flexible Work Options

The data is clear: Losing flexible work is not an option—not if you want to have any chance of retaining your people. According to a 2022 study from ADP, 64% of the global workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time. What’s more, the survey also found that more than half (52%) of employees were even willing to accept a pay cut if it meant maintaining flexible, hybrid work arrangements.  

As such, it’s important to remember that flexible work doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Consider these options:  

  • Require two to three in-person workdays for all employees.  
  • Allow employees to choose which days they work from home.  
  • Offer atypical work hours — such as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — to accommodate employees with other responsibilities and interests.   
  • If possible, allow full-time remote work.  

After determining which flexible work options make the most sense for your organization, remember to purposefully build opportunities for engagement among your remote or hybrid team. And, if your organization’s policies don’t allow much room for flexibility, be mindful of tying those policies back to the business. For example, rather than citing “productivity” as a vague reason for not allowing employees to work remotely, explain why collaborating in person will allow the business to better serve customers.  

3. Prioritize Development & Internal Mobility

Employees are hungry for growth and development. According to the latest Engagement and Retention Report from Achievers, career progression was the #1 pull factor attracting employees to new jobs. Similarly, new data from Microsoft showed that 76% of employees would stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support. So, what can employers do about it? To start, don’t give employees a reason to look elsewhere for opportunities to grow their careers.   

By prioritizing learning and development (L&D) from day one, employees will feel like their career progression is being taken seriously. More precisely, consider mentorship programs, shadowing and skills training to invest in employees’ growth. Likewise, another critical component of retaining employees is internal mobility, which works in tandem with L&D.   

Research from LinkedIn shows that employees who make an internal move are more likely to stay at their organization longer than those who stay in the same role. For example, at the one-year mark, employees are 75% likely to stay without an internal move, while those who make a lateral move or receive a promotion are 87% likely to stay. This trend continues for each year an employee stays at the company. 

Treat People Like People 

At the end of the day, people want to be treated as just that—people. They crave connection, interaction and belonging—all things that were compromised by the seemingly overnight shift to more virtual work. Employers who understand the importance of relational factors over transactional ones will be the ones to retain their employees. And, those who are intentional about establishing a strong sense of purpose; fostering engagement; and creating opportunities for flexibility, recognition and development will emerge stronger with the most valuable resource —their people—intact.  

Top 7 Workforce Trends to Watch for in 2023 & Beyond

So far, 2023 has proven to be a year of contradictions, making workforce trends hard to pin down. The labor market is cooling, yet unemployment remains low. Despite the slowdown in some industries, others like healthcare and hospitality are still tight. Overall, job openings are still higher than pre-pandemic levels in most countries.

Despite layoffs and economic fluctuation, 46% of talent leaders say recruitment is a priority in 2023 according to Gartner. Plus, 50% of organizations still expect the competition for talent to increase significantly in the next six months, regardless of broader macroeconomic conditions. Employers seem to be taking a more measured approach to recruitment and “right-sizing” their workforce.

This means recruiting leaders must reprioritize recruiting strategies to align with current business needs, plan for multiple potential scenarios in this shifting market, and make decisions with great confidence using data. Despite a projected increase in the unemployment rate, organizations still face recruitment and retention challenges that affect business productivity.

To help employers succeed in their recruitment efforts, we take a look at the top seven workforce trends to watch for in 2023.

1. Closing Skills Gaps

According to Gartner, 64% of managers don’t think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs. A third (36%) of HR leaders say their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need.

With the rate of technological advancements, more and more employers are exploring ways to reskill and upskill their existing employees to create an agile and adaptive workforce for the future. Business leaders surveyed in 2022 for the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report said that about 40% of their workforce will require reskilling in the near future. LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report reveals that upskilling and reskilling are top priorities for today’s workers.

Organizations that invest in training for their workforce see greater employee retention. Companies that excel at internal mobility are more likely to retain employees. Shifting job requirements and an uncertain job market along with rapidly changing technology have left people feeling unprepared for their next career move and in need of additional support. In fact, 70% of employees say they haven’t even mastered the skills they need for their jobs today according to Gartner. Upskilling and reskilling opportunities help employees feel more confident in their roles as well as in their future with your company. Adding these opportunities will enable you to adapt and thrive under any circumstances.

2. Offering More Flexibility

In the wake of the acceleration of remote work, many employees are voluntarily quitting because of concerns about workplace flexibility, according to a 2022 survey conducted by business review website GoodFirms. The survey found that 70% of HR manager respondents pointed to flexibility as a reason for resignations, which is why many companies are making flexibility and work/life balance part of their workforce planning. In our own recent research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, surveyed candidates said that flexibility and work/life balance was the top consideration when evaluating a company.

Yet, there is a disconnect between what workers want and what employers offer when it comes to remote work. While job postings on LinkedIn for remote work have dropped in many countries, workers are still applying for remote roles in droves.

Workplace trends
(Source: LinkedIn Economic Graph)

Organizations that rethink working patterns and adapt to candidate expectations will gain a significant edge over their competitors. Offering remote work, flexible hours, four-day work weeks, and job sharing may require significant workforce planning to ensure your organization can maximize productivity while also keeping employees engaged. However, it’s worth it for many organizations, especially those struggling to hire for critical roles.

3. Shifting to Contingent Workers

The desire for flexibility has not only changed when, where and how we work, but also the type of work we seek. The number of freelance workers in the U.S. has grown to a record 60 million as professionals have left full-time work to pursue short-term assignments and contract work.

Employers are making the shift as well. In the six months from May to November 2022, the share of paid job postings on LinkedIn for contract positions increased 26% compared to the same six-month period from the year before. With chronic skills shortages, organizations are clearly looking to contractors and freelancers to supplement their workforce strategy without the expense that comes with full-time employees. These workers can also offer the unique skills and experiences needed to complete specific projects and help fill roles during a leave of absence or while your company assesses future workforce needs.

4. Tapping into New Talent Pools

The labor market has shrunk due to the retirement of Baby Boomers—accelerated by the pandemic—but also because there are fewer people joining the workforce. Not only is the upcoming population smaller and not replacing the Boomers who are leaving the workforce, but one in 10 young people aged 18 to 24 say they never intend to work. Employers are having to work harder to appeal to disillusioned Gen Z-ers.

Meanwhile, talent acquisition leaders are looking to expand their talent pools to fill workforce gaps. DE&I and social mobility efforts are focused on bringing in untapped talent groups. Plus, some organizations are looking to their existing employees to fill critical roles in other areas. We’re currently helping a financial service organization assess employees in their bank branches to find individuals with hidden aptitudes that can be trained as software engineers to support their web and app development initiatives.

In the wake of The Great Resignation, we’re now seeing a rise in boomerang employees—workers who voluntarily resign from your company only to join again later. Workers who left due to extenuating personal circumstances—and even those who went to seek greener grass—can serve as a strong new talent pool and shouldn’t be counted out. They’ll come in with an understanding of the business and can get up and running quickly, often bringing along new skills or fresh perspectives that can propel your business forward.

Another group boomeranging is Baby Boomers as some call for The Great Unretirement. In the UK, over-50s make up 76% of the 830K people who left work during the pandemic. The Government’s latest “back to work” budget rolled out a number of tactics to entice this age group back to work including a new “returnership” apprenticeship program. For employers to tap into this talent pool, they must offer flexibility through part-time and remote work.

5. Rallying Around the Mission

Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) are increasingly on the mind of HR leaders as employees and candidates are concerned with the ethical and sustainability impact of their employer. More than ever, candidates are searching for work they find meaningful and an employer that shares their values—especially the Millennial and Gen Z workforce.

Our research revealed that for 50% of candidates, an organization’s mission and purpose are a key influence on their decision to apply. Yet, when evaluating career sites, we found details on the mission or purpose of the organization less than half (48%) of the time.

According to a study by Mercer, employers with high employee satisfaction and attractiveness scores have significantly higher ESG scores than their peers. HR leaders in particular are focused on the social elements of ESG including diversity, equity, and inclusion—and ensuring their workplace is an environment where everyone can be productive.

6. Prioritizing Employee Well-Being

Burnout is still on the rise globally. In a recent poll from Gallup, 44% of employees revealed they experienced stress during much of the previous day. So, it’s no surprise that 42% of the workforce is reporting burnout—an all-time high.

On top of that, in the UK alone, there are 2.2M people inactive in the workforce due to long-term sickness and disability. Moreover, the biggest rise in workforce inactivity since the pandemic due to illness has not been among 50 to 64-year-olds as one might expect, but among those aged between 18 and 24.

With so many people out of the workforce due to long-term illness and stress, employee well-being is becoming a top priority for many organizations, as they recognize the importance of supporting employee mental and physical health. In fact, 79% of employees are likely to stay at a company that offers high-quality mental health resources, and 67% of leaders cited improvement in productivity when mental health support is offered.

According to the World Health Organization, anxiety and depression, two of the most common mental health conditions, cost the global economy $1 trillion (USD) each year.

7. Engaging Outside Talent Acquisition Solutions

While the current economic outlook may have some employers proceeding with caution, business leaders are optimistic about the future. In fact, 85% of leaders said they anticipate their revenue to increase year over year.

Meanwhile, 46% said that staffing would be their top operational challenge for the year ahead. With uncertainty looming, companies may need to reassess their recruitment efforts and create a more agile workforce to evolve for the future. Developing a more flexible model is more critical now than ever in a shifting workplace landscape.

Having trusted guidance at these crucial moments can make all the difference. A talent partner offers a variety of solutions to help organizations attract and hire the right candidates. Whether you’re hiring full-time employees or need to supplement your contingent workforce for a temporary project or long-term assignment, a talent partner can help build and execute a talent acquisition strategy that works.

Check Out Our Report To Learn More About The Future Of Work


The Multigenerational Workforce: How to Hire and Retain Older Workers

The aging workforce is a key factor shaping the future of work. In most major economies today, there are around six workers for every retiree. By 2030, all Baby Boomers will have reached 65, the general retirement age threshold, meaning this figure is set to drop substantially.

As Boomers leave the workforce, employers are trying to stem the bleeding from the skills, knowledge, and experience they’ll take with them by finding ways to keep them on the payroll. Organizations that recognize the value of older workers can benefit from leveraging this talent pool. Here, we explore four strategies to help you retain older workers or entice them to return.

Who are the Baby Boomers?

First, let’s take a closer look at the demographic. Baby Boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964, the largest generation in history. This generation was born following World War II and lived through the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War, and massive technological advancements. They are a major force in the global economy and have built and defined the labor market we know today.

Boomers are the most affluent generation in history, and they are expected to pass on trillions of dollars to their children and grandchildren, which could reduce the labor participation of younger generations. Combined with today’s decreased birthrates, the global workforce is already shrinking as Boomers increasingly retire.

A Global Look at Retirement

According to Pew Research Center, approximately 2 million Baby Boomers retire every year. In 2020, this number swelled to a historic high as 3 million workers retired from the workforce in the U.S. alone.

However, attitudes toward retirement vary widely across countries and are influenced by both culture and economics. For example, in the United States, where people value individualism and self-reliance, retirement is seen as a time to relax and enjoy life. But in Japan, there is a strong emphasis on collectivism and community, which can lead people to feel they should continue working and contributing to their circle.

Older Workers Percentage
(Source: Statista, OECD)

Despite people working longer in Japan, the country is projected to have a ratio of just 1.5 workers per retiree at the start of the next decade. In some of Europe’s biggest economies and the U.S., the outlook is not much better with figures hovering around the 2.4 mark. This is due to declining global birthrates, which has fallen by half since 1950. In short, there aren’t enough Millennials and Gen Z-ers to fill Boomers’ shoes.

The exodus of Boomers from the workforce is having a significant impact on the global economy, and some countries are beginning to raise the retirement age to push back the impending dropoff. Moreover, in recent months, as the cost of living has gone up, there’s been a surge in “unretirement” as some who left work during the pandemic are looking for jobs again.

Boomeranging Boomers: Why are Retirees Coming Back to Work?

In the UK, the number of people over 65 working or looking for work hit nearly 1.5 million in the second half of 2022—the highest level on record per the ONS. According to a recent report from Paychex, one in six retirees are considering returning to work.

Some common reasons for coming out of retirement cited in the report include:

  • Financial need. For some retirees, savings and pensions may not be enough to cover expenses, especially if they accrue medical bills. Over half (55%) of retirees who have returned to work say they needed more money. Going back to work, even part-time, can make a difference in their financial situation.
  • Lack of purpose. Jobs create structure and routine in an employee’s life. Losing this can be a difficult adjustment for some after retirement. Some may also feel they are no longer contributing to society or making a difference; returning to work can give these individuals a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Socialization. Work provides a social outlet. In fact, 43% of retirees say feeling lonely is a motivator for returning to the workforce. Work creates opportunities to socialize as employees interact with co-workers and customers.
  • Boredom. Work can provide mental and physical stimulation for retirees. Boredom is cited as a reason for returning to work for 52% of survey respondents. Working can help older people stay sharp and active.
  • Enjoyment of work. Some retirees simply enjoy working. They may find their jobs to be challenging and rewarding, and they may not be ready to give them up when they reach retirement age.
Retaining Older Workers

Attracting & Retaining Older Workers

While older people may be keen to return to the workforce, the job they want in the latter part of their life won’t look like their previous career. They may seek to change how, when, and where they work—including moving to part-time positions or changing fields or job roles. If employers make certain concessions, Baby Boomers might be persuaded to stay a little longer, therefore preventing the “cliff-edge” effect.

So, how can you retain the older workers you have for a little longer or entice them back? Here are four things to consider.

1. Address Ageism in the Workplace

The majority (73%) of those in their 50s and 60s feel they share invaluable skills, experience, and knowledge with colleagues—but 16% believe it is not valued by their employer. Indeed, 62% of hiring managers admit they “are skeptical about hiring retirees.” It’s no wonder that 74% of working retirees “feel judged by co-workers because of their age.”

Creating a sense of inclusion and belonging is crucial for both attracting and retaining older workers. If you have a diversity training program in place, ensure that ageism is being addressed in your training materials. If you don’t have a training program, consider creating one. Not only will you see an improved business performance, benefiting your bottom line, but your employees of all ages will be more engaged, content and productive.

2. Add More Flexible Working Arrangements

Boomers may continue to work after retirement age, but that doesn’t mean they’re seeking the same kind of career. Few of this generation will want to continue working in a typical full-time contract after they hit 65. Family responsibilities and the desire for more leisure time are key concerns for them. Many won’t want to continue taking on high-pressure responsibilities either.

Flexibility and work/life balance are important across all age groups, with Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers rating it as a top consideration when looking for a job in a recent survey. Amongst retirees looking to return to work, 53% want a remote position according to the Paychex survey.

3. Provide Training & Mentoring

Older employees, especially those who have returned to the labor force from retirement, value opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Organizations that provide chances for older workers to expand their knowledge and skills have a stronger chance of retaining this talent pool. This could include things like offering new technology training or mentoring or coaching opportunities.

Reverse-mentoring programs have become a popular way to engage both older workers and younger employees who are hoping to build leadership skills. Unlike a typical mentorship, reverse-mentoring involves a younger employee mentoring an older, more experienced mentor. Not only can this help older workers develop digital skills, but it also contributes to a culture of inclusion.

4. Create Opportunities for Knowledge Transfer

While it’s important that older workers harness new skills, it’s equally crucial to ensure that skills aren’t lost from generation to generation. There is already a skills shortage in many fields, from haulage to engineering and healthcare to hospitality. Losing the Boomer demographic from the workforce will intensify the challenge of filling skilled roles—not to mention reduce the dissemination of knowledge for the generations that follow.

The biggest responsibility for Baby Boomers is knowledge transfer and mentoring. Organizations must create opportunities for more experienced employees to work closely with new joiners and less experienced colleagues to impart their wisdom and share their organizational and sector connections. This way organizations can ensure these skills, insights, and knowledge are not lost and can be leveraged for years to come.

Embracing the Aging Workforce

In this tight labor market, employers need to keep an eye out for opportunities to capitalize on the experience and knowledge that older workers possess, particularly as they withdraw from the labor market. Baby Boomers offer loyalty, passion, and confidence. Embracing the aging workforce could prove to be a lifeline for organizations that are planning for a future labor shortage.

Check Out Our Report To Learn More About The Future Of Work

Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work

Job Descriptions vs Job Advertisements: Moving Beyond the Buzzwords to Entice Top Talent

The average job description is about as inspiring as a television user manual. Look, I get it. You want to get the job posted ASAP. Yet, job descriptions are often a candidate’s first introduction to your company, so you’ve got to give them what they’re looking for. You’ve got to make each word count.

There are over 58 million companies listed on LinkedIn and 90 job applications are submitted on the platform every second. Then there’s Indeed, Glassdoor, industry job boards, company career sites, social media, word of mouth, and all the myriad of other ways candidates find work. If you’re not treating your job postings like a critical part of the candidate experience, you’re already missing an opportunity to win over top talent.

So, how do you write job descriptions that stand out?

Job Descriptions vs Job Advertisements: Why It’s Time to Change Your Approach

A job description outlines the duties, responsibilities and requirements for a particular job position. It typically includes:

  • Job title
  • Essential job tasks
  • Qualifications
  • Required skills and experience
  • Reporting structure
  • Salary
  • Other relevant details

While this information is important for finding qualified talent, most organizations over-index their requirements and don’t tell the candidates what they’ll get in return. It’s all about what organizations want and not what they offer, which won’t fly in today’s candidate-led market.

At PeopleScout, we encourage our clients to think about their job postings as job advertisements. In other words, you’ve got to sell the position and your employer brand.

Essentially, put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and think about what the ideal candidate wants to know. Win them over with your employer value proposition (EVP)—that “give and get” between your organization and employees.

What Candidates Want to See in a Job Description

Job Descriptions

Our most recent research revealed the top five considerations that candidates look for when deciding to apply to a company:

  1. Flexible working and work/life balance
  2. Mission/purpose
  3. Rewards and benefits
  4. Career development/mobility
  5. Company values

Not surprisingly, flexibility and work/life balance are top of mind for candidates around the world, particularly for women as they juggle work and family. Our findings also confirmed a post-pandemic shift in candidate expectations, with a greater emphasis on purpose. In fact, 50% of candidates say the mission and purpose of an organization have a significant impact on their decision to apply. Men are more likely to rate organizational philosophy as extremely important when compared to other considerations.

While job requirements will always feature in job listings, to keep up with candidate expectations, it’s time to revamp your job descriptions to advertise your unique offerings as an employer.

6 Best Practices for Crafting Job Postings into Job Advertisements that Stand Out

Here are six best practices to help your job ad stand out on any online job listing site.

1. Rearrange the Structure

Structure your job ads in the order of importance according to your candidate. Before you list your requirements, you’ve got to give the candidates what they want. Think about how you would “sell” the position. Include information about your organization’s mission and purpose, what the role has to offer the candidate, what environment they’ll work in, perks and benefits, and more.

We suggest the following order:

  • Job title
  • Salary information plus any relevant bonus schemes, retirement benefits, etc.
  • Location including relevant information on the work environment and remote or hybrid work arrangements
  • Hours especially information on flexibility (part-time, job share, flexible shifts, etc.)
  • Elevator pitch. This is not your “About us” marketing boilerplate, it’s your “so what?” moment. Show why a candidate should apply for this job and why they should work for you, including your mission, purpose, values, etc.
  • Job summary including the day-to-day responsibilities of this role and the impact the role has on the business
  • Required skills and experience
  • About the recruitment process
  • How to request reasonable adjustments

Also, the call-to-action to apply for the role should be featured prominently so it’s always visible as one scrolls through the ad.

Pro tip: Use relevant sub-headings to help the reader scan the content and choose which parts to read first.

2. Keep Them Short and Sweet

When re-envisioning your job descriptions as job advertisements, consider the time it takes to read and review the job posting, the content’s scannability and clarity, and the overall user experience. Of course, you’ll want to help the candidate determine if they’re qualified for the role by including requirements like education, certifications, previous experience, and technical skills required for the role. You may even want to include soft skills, but don’t go overboard. According to an analysis by LinkedIn, shorter job descriptions get more applications.

Plus, more job requirements can have a negative impact on your diversity recruitment goals. While you may be familiar with the research that shows women are less likely to apply when they don’t meet 100% of the criteria. Interestingly, further research shows that this isn’t because women don’t feel as though they can’t do the job; rather, they don’t want to waste their time or energy on an application if it will be automatically rejected. 

The more requirements you have, the more likely you are to discourage candidates from applying. Plus, as the list of criteria on a job posting gets longer, the applicant pool for that job will likely become less diverse.

Pro tip: Focus on behaviors rather than character traits. So rather than, “You have excellent communication skills,” try, “You have presented to executive leadership or at client meetings.”

3. Make the Content Relevant

Make sure the content of the job posting is specific to the role and that it provides value to the candidate for their decision-making process. Include details about location, hours and shifts, and weed out extraneous or trite verbiage. For example, everyone thinks they’re a team player. Do you really need to say that’s what you’re looking for?

Instead, consider including realistic job previews. These video job advertisements give candidates a feel for the job by showing them a snapshot of the real-life day-to-day tasks and environment. We find it to be an effective screening tool and can reduce attrition by setting the right expectations.

Video job ads receive 70% more applications than written ones.

Pro tip: Try featuring existing employees as brand ambassadors in your job listings and candidate attraction material. Job seekers trust employees three times more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there. Plus, it will help candidates see themselves in the role.

4. Include the Salary in Job Postings

If your job postings mention a “competitive salary,” I can guarantee a lot of your potential applicants are thinking, “If your salary is so competitive, why won’t you say what it is?”

Salary transparency is a tough topic and one that is evolving quickly. Publishing salaries is increasingly a legal requirement in some countries and states. More than that, pay transparency in job descriptions earns your candidates’ trust. In this day and age, when information is readily available, candidates are more likely to apply when the job ad includes a salary or a salary range, because they feel more confident about what they’re getting into. Plus, by offering this information up front, your recruiters and hiring managers can avoid awkward conversations, and you won’t waste anyone’s time.

Pro tip: Consult your legal team on legislation in your area regarding pay transparency, especially as it applies to remote work.

5. Use Plain Language

Effective job advertisements are 3 things: concise, bold and clear. Keep the verbiage in your job listings simple. Use short words and short sentences. Avoid jargon where possible. There are a number of free online tools that can help identify biased language as well as opportunities to improve readability. The readability score of a job posting should be appropriate to the role you’re advertising.

Plain language is especially important for job titles. Use verbiage that your candidate would use rather than your internal terminology. A candidate looking for a hotel job is more likely to search for “housekeeper” rather than “environmental services engineer.” If a job is for a more experienced employee, use “senior” rather than your internal seniority categories like “level II.”

While you’re at it, assess your job ad for biased language. Does it contain verbiage like “ambitious” or “expert” that are stereotypically masculine? Job postings with gender-neutral wording get 42% more applications. There are a variety of online tools that can highlight biased language.

Pro tip: Skip the cutesy language like “rockstar” or “ninja.” Candidates are over it.

Job Search

6. Optimize Your Job Postings for Search Engines

Search engines, like Google, are the top job search tools used by candidates across the world, with 66% of candidates using a search engine to find job openings. Typically, we see employers rank well for search terms related to their brand name. However, nearly a quarter of organizations (22%) don’t appear in Google for job listings when searching by location and job title, such as “IT jobs in Cincinnati.”

Increase your chances of being found on search engines by rolling out some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices for your job postings. SEO is the practice of optimizing a webpage to rank higher in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing to drive more traffic to your page. Optimizing your job posting with the right set of keywords can help the right talent find your roles.

Modify your job ad titles and copy to increase the chances of your listing appearing in more searches. Put yourself in your candidate’s shoes and think about what terms they would use to find that type of role. This is what your job posting title should be. Plus, you’ll want to sprinkle it in throughout the job description. Be sure to include locations (even if it’s remote or virtual) and shift times prominently so you show up for candidates looking for those things.

Pro tip: Check out part 2 of “Leveraging Recruitment Marketing Strategies to Supercharge Talent Acquisition for a crash course in SEO for recruiters. Download PeopleScout’s latest report to get more practical tips on creating a better candidate experience.

Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report

2022 U.S. Jobs Data and Trends Shaping Work in 2023

2022 U.S. Jobs Data and Trends Shaping Work in 2023

Exclusive Access to Jobs Data and Workforce Insights for 2023

As 2023 gets underway, hiring remains a key issue for employers across the country. The labor market is still creating jobs at a brisk pace and the number of available jobs continues to outpace the number of workers. PeopleScout is looking back at some of the trends that have shaped the job market this year — and that are likely to make an impact for next year as well.

Our newly released report, “2022 U.S. Jobs Data and Trends Shaping Work in 2023,” shares exclusive jobs data across a variety of industries plus insights on recruitment and hiring trends. Plus, we explore some of the dominant workforce trends affecting the labor market and preview the year ahead with a series of predictions.

Key information you’ll find in the report includes:

  • National job numbers for 2022
  • Workforce and wage info for several major industries
  • Breakdown of jobs seeing the most growth
  • Workforce trends and predictions for 2023


Get access to your report now!

Talking Talent: 2023 Global Talent Market Snapshot

As we start 2023, global economic uncertainty remains; so, in this episode of Talking Talent, we’re taking a look at how labor market trends are impacting different regions around the globe.

Over the past three years, we’ve heard a lot of the same words and phrases repeatedly: unprecedented, uncertainty, new normal and the list goes on. We would all prefer if these words stop echoing around in the backs of our minds, but we’re not there yet.

However, if we look at what is happening in different regions around world, we can gain a better understanding of where we stand globally. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities? What can we learn from each other?

In this episode, we hear from three of PeopleScout’s senior leaders, PeopleScout President, Rick Betori*, UK Managing Director and Head of EMEA Operational Delivery, Jon Porter, and Managing Director of APAC, Tim Powell.

Rick Betori has served as President of PeopleScout since March 2023. In his role, Rick helps strengthen client partnerships, drives innovation in talent solutions, fosters collaboration across teams and regions, and bolsters PeopleScout’s reputation as an industry leader and trusted talent partner. He has been with TrueBlue since 2011 and has over 25 years of proven experience driving organizational change and growth. An innovator in business delivery and operations, Rick served as the President of StudentScout until it was acquired by TrueBlue (PeopleReady’s parent company), when he joined PeopleReady’s leadership team.

Jon started his career in finance with KPMG but has spent the last 25 years partnering with commercial and public sector organizations to find solutions to their resourcing problems. Responsible for our EMEA RPO and talent advisory business, his role covers all aspects of client engagement, service delivery and colleague development. Jon joined PeopleScout as part of the company’s acquisition of TMP in 2018.

With a wealth of experience gained from nearly three decades in human capital consulting, RPO and related talent acquisition services, Tim leads PeopleScout’s operations in the APAC region. Tim joined PeopleScout in 2022 and has previously worked in key leadership roles with Deloitte, Accenture and Korn Ferry in APAC, Europe and North America. Tim’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is illustrated by his tenure as a Board member for both Fighting Chance Australia and Jigsaw Australia, two national social enterprises aimed at providing innovative work and wellness programs for people with disabilities.

In this episode, these three leaders discuss what their respective talent markets look like now, what should be top of mind for talent leaders in 2023 and how they can put the hard-learned lessons from the past three years into practice.

*At the time of this recording, Rick’s title was PeopleScout Managing Director, the Americas.

Inside the Candidate Experience: 3 Revelations from Our 2023 Report

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory

When it comes to applying for and accepting new jobs, candidates have more options than ever before. Companies with poor candidate experiences will lose out on the top talent as employers battle for the best prospects.

So, how does the average candidate experience stack up against candidate expectations?

According to PeopleScout’s most recent research, less than two in 10 candidates rate their experience as excellent.

For the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report, we used our proprietary Candidate Experience Diagnostic to audit the candidate journeys of over 215 organizations worldwide. Then we compared this to data gathered via a global survey of over 2,400 job seekers.

Research report

Inside the candidate experience 2023 report

The findings reveal a significant gap between candidate expectations and the reality they face while looking for jobs, gathering information to support their decision, and applying.

Here are three surprises from our research:

1. Less than half of employers show information about the organization’s mission, purpose or values on the career site

Yet, they’re in the top considerations for applicants when deciding to apply.

Your takeaway:

Candidates want fulfilling employment and a company that upholds their values—especially Gen Z and Millennial workers. In fact, one in five Millennials state that an organization’s goals and mission are their top priority when considering a job. By not featuring this information on your career site, you’re passing up an opportunity to create an emotional connection with your candidates.

2. Just half (53%) of organizations provide an opportunity for candidates to register their interest or to sign up for job alerts

Even fewer (39%) prompted candidates to join a talent community.

Your takeaway:

Modern job seekers are more sophisticated than ever and are looking to grow a career, not just apply for jobs transactionally. In fact, on average nine months goes by between a candidate engaging with an employer and applying for a job. Maintaining a talent pipeline lets you build a relationship with your talent audience and ensures you get the best talent, not just those who are looking at the time a vacancy arises.

3. 44% of organizations did not provide an opportunity for candidates to give feedback on their experience

Plus, men are more likely than women to be aware of opportunities to provide and receive feedback during the recruitment process.

Your takeaway:

This is a major oversight for many organizations. If you’re not leveraging surveys to gather feedback from all of your candidates, you are passing up valuable insights that might help you enhance your employer brand, lower attrition and shorten your hiring cycle.

The candidate experience is a hot topic, and most talent leaders I speak with appear to recognize the value of improving the candidate journey. However, this research demonstrates that organizations still have work to do to live up to the standards of today’s job seekers. My hope is that our recent findings will mobilize talent acquisition teams to put real action behind their words and make bold moves to improve their candidate experience and speed up the pace of progress.

To get the full research and more actionable insights, download the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.

Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report

Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report

The Hard Truth About Candidate Expectations vs Candidate Experience Realities

The candidate experience has never been more important. Yet, the latest research from PeopleScout shows that less than two in 10 candidates would rate their recent recruitment experience as excellent.

We audited the candidate journey of over 215 organizations around the world, giving each a Candidate Experience Quotient (CandidateXQ) score—a calculation based on 40 key experience indicators, including 15 critical factors that make or break the candidate experience.

By analyzing these CandidateXQ scores alongside data gathered from surveying over 2,400 job seekers globally, we uncovered a clear disparity between candidate expectation and reality.

Download our free Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report for the latest research exploring:

  • What candidates expect at each stage of the journey and how employers stack up
  • Where each industry is succeeding or struggling with candidate experience
  • Actionable steps you can take to improve your CandidateXQ