The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
As baby boomers get set to retire there is not one but three distinct generations waiting to take their place: generation X (born between 1966 and 1976), generation Y (1977 to 1994) and generation Z (1995 to 2012).
What defines these generations? What are their characteristics? Where do their skills lie? Which attitudes and values do they cling to? Understanding these differences is critical for recruiters looking to profile suitable talent for specific roles in specific organisations.
In this infographic we outline each of the generations seen through the lens of the modern workplace. We take you on a generational journey as we travel through the hard working but authority challenging generation X, we take in the specialist loners of generation Y and finally arrive at generation Z whose distinct entrepreneurial flair and tech tendencies are combined with strong people skills.
How can your business best engage with the best minds of each generation? What roles, culture and working environment will attract them? What specific needs does each seek to be met through the workplace?
Gaining an understanding of each generation, and recognising their differences, will be an essential challenge for talent recruitment. You can start mapping the generations and charting your own recruitment path here.
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GENERATION X vs Y vs Z
Generation X and Y, with their own professional attitudes and skill sets, have defined the modern workplace.
So, how do they compare against the next generation?
As the baby boomers – the largest generation in history – retire, generation X, Y, and Z will fill senior positions.
1966 – 1976
1977 – 1994
1995 – 2012
|Generation X||Generation Y||Generation Z|
|1.44 billion||1.72 billion||2.52 billion*|
|Peter Jones (entreprenur)||Ramona Nicholas (Cara Group)||Jordan Casey|
|Domini Kemp (its a bagel)||Brian Fallon (daft.ie)||Nick D’Aloisio (Summly)|
THE GENERATION GAP
Each generation is defined by its own unique education background, skills, and attitudes.
7 years of study
3-4 years of study
3-4 years of study
Relevant professional qualifications
|Commerce economics||Entrepreneurship & marketing||Business management|
|Workforce education & development||Global studies||Psychological studies|
|Information & decision sciences||Journalism & electronic media||Education & development|
|Service oriented architecture (SOA)||Press releases||Technological savants|
|Enterprise solutions||Blogging||Online research|
|Storage management||SPSS and data analysis||Entrepreneurship and innovation|
|“Balance and work with family”||“Never confuse your career with your life”||“We are the ‘always on’ generation|
To be successful companies need to understand the differences.
THE Xs, Ys, and Zs
According to businesses and recruiters, there is no shortage of skills to choose from – but what are the key characteristics of each generation?
70% feel that Gen X are the best workers overall
58% feel that Gen X are the top revenue builders
|Fight the power
Less than 40% of Gen X workers are happy with senor management
52% feel that Gen Y possesses more in-depth knowledge in specific areas of expertise
45% Gen Y scored lowest for being a team player
|Committed to Succeed
68% feel that Gen Y are the most passionate employees
17% of Gen Z want to start their own business and hire workers
46% of Gen Z are true ‘digital natives’ connected 10+ hours a day
34% of Gen Z are the most concerned about boosting their people management skills
Understanding the motivations and skills each generation is vital to talent recruitment and retention.
Businesses and recruiters adapt in order to engage the next generation.
* Estimated global population size based on Population Bureau data.