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7 Strategies to Bridge Generational Gaps in SMB Recruitment

Stephanie Sparks

Multigenerational workforces are here to stay. Currently, there are five generations that small businesses have to consider when recruiting new talent — Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.

Understanding job seeker preferences, motivations, and behaviors across generational lines is essential for growing companies looking to connect more effectively with candidates and stay competitive in a tight labor market.

We’ve asked HR professionals and recruiters their advice on how to bridge the gap in generational recruiting and hiring. From creating diverse interview panels to advertising mentorship opportunities, discover how these strategies have reshaped recruiting dynamics in small- and medium-sized businesses.

  • Create Diverse Interview Panels
  • Target Multiple Job Search Sites
  • Use LinkedIn’s Cross-Generational Reach
  • Advertise Mentorship Opportunities
  • Diversify Recruitment Platforms
  • Implement Generation-Spanning Mentorship
  • Pair Seasoned and Young Employees

Create Diverse Interview Panels

Robert Kaskel One of the best ways to bridge those gaps is to create interview panels with representatives from several generations. Each generation brings its own unique skills and experiences to connect with candidates and assess cultural fit from their distinct lens. You get a more well-rounded evaluation of candidates and a chance to show them how much your business values diversity, so it’s a win-win.

Robert Kaskel, Chief People Officer, Checkr

Target Multiple Job Search Sites

Tracey Beveridge For our teams, it’s all about looking at where our candidates are most likely to be applying and having a presence there. For example, simply looking past the typical sites like Indeed for some hires, but also understanding that a specific generation may only use Indeed when it comes to job hunting. And the more approaches you try, the more data you’ll have to know which platforms or websites to advertise on for openings specifically.

Tracey Beveridge, HR Director, Personnel Checks

Advertise Mentorship Opportunities

Ana Alipat At Dayjob Recruitment, we’ve adopted a unique strategy of highlighting professional development and mentorship in our job ads. This approach draws candidates from various generations, keen on growth within the manufacturing and construction sectors. We showcase mentorship opportunities, appealing to both seasoned professionals and new entrants, fostering a team environment rich in knowledge-sharing. This strategy has led to more cohesive, innovative teams, driving success for our clients and setting us apart in the recruitment space.

For instance, we’ve tailored our recruitment campaigns to highlight the mentorship culture within our client companies, showcasing how experienced professionals share their knowledge with younger team members. This has not only helped in attracting a multi-generational workforce, but also in fostering a team dynamic where knowledge sharing and innovation are at the forefront. The impact has been profound, leading to more collaborative teams that blend traditional expertise with fresh perspectives, ultimately enhancing our project outcomes and client satisfaction.

Ana Alipat, Recruitment Team Lead, Dayjob Recruitment

Use LinkedIn’s Cross-Generational Reach

Jarir Mallah Featured Post job postings on LinkedIn. This remains the only platform viewed as a professional space across all generations who use it to find job opportunities. By posting on LinkedIn on your company page, you’ll attract candidates from multiple generations without having to do anything unique.

Jarir Mallah, Human Resources Manager, Ling App


Implement Generation-Spanning Mentorship

Desiree Smith Featured Having an intentional strategy around pairings for mentorship programs and ensuring that a diverse span of participants are involved drives generationally diverse partnerships. These partnerships have a greater potential of developing generation-spanning relationships when there is a stated intent of the program to have a positive and mutually beneficial result.

Desiree Smith, Director, Talent Acquisition


Diversify Recruitment Platforms

Wendy Makinson Featured Without being too broad with a response, I’d say hiring with intent on a per-platform or per-approach basis, rather than just sticking to one option. For example, maintaining a full openings section on your website, posting vacancies on social media and selected platforms externally. Essentially, being everywhere that your target hires are, and being active in your efforts — not just posting a job and leaving a platform alone for 12 months.

Wendy Makinson, HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

Pair Seasoned and Young Employees

Saritha Fernandes Featured Recognizing the different age groups brings diverse perspectives to the table, we paired seasonal employees with the younger hires and vice versa. The seasoned employees shared their wealth of experience and industry insights, while the younger hires brought in fresh ideas and technological proficiency. It not only enhances communication, but also contributes to a more creative and dynamic work environment, ultimately benefiting our recruitment strategies.

Saritha Fernandes, Talent Acquisition Manager