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7 Proven Strategies for Attracting Generational Talent to SMBs

Cat Weber

Today’s workforce is complex and multigenerational. For small- and medium-sized businesses eager to attract generational talent, there are five generations to consider — Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.

Identifying the motivations and behaviors of job seekers across generations is crucial to attracting top generational talent for growing companies.

We’ve asked HR professionals and business leaders to share their insights on effectively attracting generational talent strategies. From offering remote work and professional growth to highlighting authentic employer branding, see how these approaches can align and attract generational talent for small- and medium-sized businesses.

  • Offer Remote Work and Professional Growth
  • Emphasize Work-Life Balance and Mentorship
  • Use Passive Recruitment Strategies
  • Implement Broad Flexible Work Options
  • Maintain a Diverse Social Presence
  • Feature Multigenerational Employee Testimonials
  • Showcase Authentic Employer Branding

Offer Remote Work and Professional Growth

April Cornell Featured In today’s diverse workforce, offering remote-work options, opportunities for professional development, and support for work-life balance resonates with millennials seeking meaningful careers and experienced professionals looking for a fulfilling work environment. Recognizing each generation’s unique perspectives and contributions allows for a collaborative and innovative workplace where everyone can thrive and grow together.

April Cornell, Human Resources Recruiting Manager, Level 3 Audio Visual LLC

Emphasize Work-Life Balance and Mentorship

Kimberley Tyler Smith Featured We found that a strong focus on work-life balance and professional development really resonated with younger generations. We implemented flexible work arrangements, like remote work options, and created clear career paths with mentorship programs. This not only attracted talented young individuals, but also boosted morale and retention. We saw a significant increase in applications from qualified candidates, and our new hires are energized and eager to learn, bringing fresh perspectives to the team. It’s been a win-win!

Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded

Use Passive Recruitment Strategies

Wendy Makinson Featured Passive recruitment is a fantastic way of finding candidates that you wouldn’t usually find via traditional methods, and often you’ll discover generational-spanning clients. Is it a quick approach to hiring? No, but it’s incredibly effective if you’re able to wait and put the work in to create a passive pipeline alongside your traditional hiring methods.

Wendy Makinson, HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

Implement Broad Flexible Work Options

Ana Alipat Featured For our small to mid-sized business, a successful strategy for attracting generational talent has been offering flexible work arrangements, such as flexible hours and part-time roles. This approach appeals to a wide range of candidates, from Baby Boomers seeking reduced hours without full retirement, to Millennials and Gen Zers valuing work-life balance and autonomy.

Implementing this strategy led to a broader talent pool and higher-quality candidates. It also significantly improved our employee retention rates because individuals felt more empowered to manage their work and personal lives effectively. Another positive outcome was an increase in employee satisfaction and loyalty as team members appreciated the trust and flexibility our company offered. This‌ fostered a positive company culture where diverse generational insights contribute to innovative solutions and a more inclusive work environment.

Ana Alipat, Recruitment Team Lead, Dayjob Recruitment

Maintain a Diverse Social Presence

Tracey Beveridge Featured For us, this is to be “everywhere” that our target candidates are, and how this can differ from generation to generation. For example, covering more traditional platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn, but also having a broader social presence for millennial and Gen Z hires, who may expect to see a social media presence more broadly to get a better sense of how an organization operates.

Tracey Beveridge, HR Director, Personnel Checks

Feature Multigenerational Employee Testimonials

Ben Walker At Ditto Transcripts, we’ve found success attracting multi-generational talent by showcasing our vibrant workplace culture and growth opportunities. One impactful strategy is featuring employee testimonials across ages on our career site and social channels.

For instance, a millennial transcriber shared how they thrive with our flexible schedules and innovation initiatives. A Gen X project manager highlighted our mentorship programs and commitment to work-life balance. These authentic stories resonate with candidates seeking an inclusive environment aligned with their values.

This approach has yielded a 35% increase in applicants spanning generations over the past year.

More importantly, we’ve experienced higher retention and engagement as employees feel understood and valued. By celebrating our multi-generational workforce, we continue attracting top talent unified by a shared passion for transcription excellence across finance, loans, and business sectors.

Ben Walker, Founder and CEO, Ditto Transcripts

Showcase Authentic Employer Branding

Rob Boyle Featured One strategy I’d recommend is to emphasize your culture and team dynamics in your employer branding. We are pleased to have a strong representation from all generations within our organization, and I believe our employer branding efforts have helped us to accomplish this.

We have also seen positive results for our clients using this approach. The most important part is making sure that potential applicants from any generation can see themselves represented in your branding, which can help them to see your workplace as somewhere they can belong and thrive.

Some things we do to emphasize culture and team dynamics through employer branding are:

  • Include photos and/or videos of your actual team interacting in the workplace instead of using stock photos for social media posts, blog posts, website content

  • Incentivize current team members to leave positive workplace reviews on sites like Glassdoor

  • Include testimonials from employees from multiple generations, ideally at least one from each: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z in your employer branding

  • Emphasize your initiatives aimed at diversity and inclusivity, and provide some measurable results of these initiatives, as well as strategies you employ to ensure your workplace culture is inclusive for all team members

  • Ensure you’re building your employer brand across multiple platforms, including your company website, LinkedIn, and various social media sites that appeal to different generations

Rob Boyle, Marketing Operations Director, Airswift