Multi-gen workplaces: A blessing or a curse?

Multi-gen workplaces: A blessing or a curse?

We were recently featured in Impact, the magazine for the largest community of research, insight, analytics and marketing sciences professionals. Our Gen Up research was spotted and we were contacted to share our findings and feature in the magazine. Below is an excerpt from the featured article. 

A workplace with employees ranging from 18-to 67-year-olds- and in some instances, older – creates challenges for managers. It’s a new workplace dynamic, but is each generation really as different as we think?

We specialise in helping clients to craft their employer brand, giving employers the insight, creativity and adaptability to engage, motivate and inspire different generations. As part of our research, we aimed to debunk some of the stereotypes gaining traction across professional social media platforms, including LinkedIn. We carried out research using 1,200 participants across different industries and locations. To give our research credibility and make it representative we used a large sample of 300 for each generation. All four generations were covered, from the youngest group, Generation Z, born 1995 to 2009; Generation Y, born 1982 to 1994; Generation X, born 1966 to 1981, right through to Baby Boomers, born postwar.

Our Head of Insight, Katharine Newton said ‘we’d seen research looking at one or two of the generations but struggled to find any looking at all four simultaneously – yet that is the reality; lots of workplaces have that.’ This is where the Gen Up project came to life. It is where we could uncover whether it is possible to have an employer brand that speaks to all four generations at once, or if separate strategies would be required for each group. We wanted to dispel the assumption that different generations equals different pages, and that multi-gen doesn’t translate into conflict and disconnect.

During the process we found there to be a lot of common ground between the generations, dispelling the idea that generations are on different pages. ‘There is scope for an over-arching employer brand and recruitment strategy, but there are key areas where employers would be advised to dial up their messaging and proposition appropriately’, Katharine said. Our research draws attention to the older generation, who felt they were being overlooked in terms of training and development opportunities. Where younger employees receive abundant opportunities to develop, older colleagues feel these opportunities were not in their reach. It all stems back to ‘that assumption that when you hit 50 you’ve nothing more to learn – that you know it all. But our research suggests over 50s don’t feel that way and there’s a strong appetite for training’, says Katharine. In order to successfully meet young generations’ requirements, our research revealed that employers increase the frequency of their reward and recognition programme. But this unfortunately wasn’t prevalent amongst older groups.

The importance of communication is one of the most important findings from the research. ‘All four generations are looking for more communication than they are receiving. The elder generation was receiving even less than the younger ones. It backs up the misconception that they are considered as not needing those updates; is that generation being seen as a waste of time?’ This needs to change in order for the elder generation to feel equally valued in the workplace.

Another stereotype explored through this research was the idea that younger generations don’t have a strong work ethic. However, when we asked younger respondents what it meant to add value and go the extra mile in the workplace, their answers demonstrated a lot of thought and they were well equipped to articulate their answer. This finding also indicated that employers do not always communicate their expectations of how going the extra mile translates to their business. Altering this and making it clear to all parties would ensure cohesion towards goals. Becky Grove, one of our Lead Consultants, considers the old-fashioned idea of what the workplace is as one of the biggest challenges for employers and their employees. Our attitudes about the workplace need to be a truer reflection of the current climate.

We need to adapt our views surrounding older generations in the workplace, providing the same opportunities for training and growth that younger employees have access to. ‘Even though state pension age is getting higher and higher, people are working longer but we’re still acting like they’re not – that they don’t need to learn past 50 because they are coming up to retirement age.’ The figures on this one speak a lot louder than words. Business in the Community did a report on age in the workplace and looked at how many people are receiving work-related training. ‘11% over the age of 60 received some form of training’, whereas the figure for ‘under 50s was 30%’, Becky reports. The gap here is far too wide and for a multi-gen workplace to thrive, this needs to change.

Moving forward there needs to be a re-levelling. The shortfall in training opportunities for the older generations need to be addressed – but this needs to be done without being at the younger generation’s expense. Striking a balance here is the biggest challenge. Katharine said one of the biggest positives that came out of this study was the level of willingness across all generations to work collaboratively and learn from each other.

The workplace is certainly changing; young grads are reaching managerial level positions and having older colleagues reporting into them. Years ago this would have proved an issue, but today our research found that people of all generations were actually very comfortable with this new hierarchy. This is a real positive for the future. The cohesion across generations shows that employers need to maximise on the similarities between generations, rather than trying to distinguish each group from one another.

Want to see more about our Gen-Up project? Click here. 

Myth-busting RPO : The truth behind those Recruitment Process Outsourcing myths


Recruitment Process Outsourcing.

Three words that seem simple enough, and yet are increasingly more difficult to pin down. The problem is, there are so many myths and preconceptions about what RPO entails, and how it
can impact your company. So it’s easy for people to get put off from the offset. With so many misconceptions about RPO out there, we decided to set the record straight and bust a few of those long-standing misconceptions that are holding you back from getting the most out of your recruitment solution:

RPO is just for big companies

Yes, plenty of large organisations have an RPO, but the solution isn’t exclusively just for them. Many small and medium-sized businesses have trouble sourcing quality talent, and if you’re a smaller company undergoing a period of expansion a flexible RPO solution could be the answer. You’ll still receive all the benefits of a large-scale recruitment outsourcing solution with our dedicated sourcing team, but you’ll have the option to scale up and down in line with your recruitment needs.

RPO is a ‘one size fits all’ approach

It’s a common myth that an RPO operates on an all-or-nothing model that’s entirely rigid in its approach. However, RPO doesn’t have to encompass all of your recruitment needs, and is in fact a highly bespoke solution that will cater to the unique needs of your company. Need to scale down for a month or two? No problem. Need to quickly recruit a large number of employees? Your RPO can match this.

Companies lose control of their recruitment with RPO

A well-designed RPO solution starts first and foremost with a partnership between provider and client. You can either outsource all recruitment, or just use them for selected tasks alongside your usual function. But you’ll never lose control over the outsourced tasks. In fact, you’ll actually gain control by defining the processes and expectation from the start with agreed metrics, analytics and results.

RPO is really expensive

Actually, RPO has been proven to decrease overall recruitment costs through faster talent sourcing,time-to-hire and a lower turnover. By working together with a team of RPO experts you’ll gain access and education in finding the right people and get better candidates in return. When you look at it this way, the long-term benefits that the RPO brings to your company will mean you really do get your money’s worth.

RPO involves being tied into complicated, long term contracts

The length of time that your RPO covers depends entirely on what your company needs. RPO can be successful in long-term solutions, but equally it can work with shorter, one-time recruitment to ramp up hiring and fill vacancies quickly. RPO is a highly-specialised process that will flex to meet your needs, however long or short these may be.

Our RPO solution can be viewed here #talentmode.

The Future of Recruitment: Sourcing talent in the digital age

Recruitment has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Traditionally, the only way to recruit new talent was advertising on open job boards or posting an ad in the newspaper, heavily relying on face-to-face applications to assess candidates.

Fast forward a few years, new technologies and an evolution in candidate behaviour means this has all changed. In 2017, recruitment needs to keep up-to-date with the latest digital trends and utilise modern marketing campaigns to gain access to a more tech-savvy talent market. Where marketing and recruitment were once distinct, these boundaries have become more and more blurred. In this article, we take a look at a few digital marketing trends that are transforming the future of recruitment:


Keeping on top of the latest trends is essential for any company looking to maintain their competitive edge and attract the best individuals. As marketing shifts more online than offline, recruitment too should embrace new technology to enhance and refine the sourcing process.

Digital recruitment channels have revolutionised recruitment advertising and talent attraction. The growth of an online footprint means a standard CV is no longer the sole means to get to know your candidates- websites, social media and professional networks give more insight that ever into potential employees.

Employer brand

Sourcing talent is becoming more and more challenging. The competition is fierce for seeking out the right candidates, and so employer branding is the key to developing successful modern employment strategies.

A strong employer brand is a powerful tool that can connect your business’ values, sourcing strategy and company culture. Developing a successful Employee Value Proposition (EVP) will work to pull out and communicate your company’s best selling points, highlighting what makes your workplace attractive to the right candidates.

Emotive marketing was big in 2016, and these ideas can translate just as effectively to recruitment. Developing an emotive connective between brand and candidate can prove invaluable to employers, with factors such as perception, brand identity, reputation and culture playing an important role in making that all-important hire.

Candidate experience

In today’s connected world, it’s more important than ever to deliver a personalised and engaging recruitment strategy for your business. Without having an effective line of communication, you run the risk of candidates walking away from the process.

Candidate experience and marketing go hand in hand. A great candidate experience feeds back into your employer brand, becoming an effective marketing tool to increase the reputation of your business. Deliver a negative experience? It might lead to the right talent turning down the job.

If your recruitment process is the brains of your strategy, candidate experience is the heart. It’s all about making the candidate experience unforgettable and generating favourable perceptions within the talent community.

5 reasons why you need an RPO

Heard everyone talking about switching to an RPO but wondered what’s in it for you? The benefits, both short and long term, can be enormous if you get this right. Here are the five key benefits to using an RPO to overcome your recruitment woes:

1. Financial benefits:

Time is spent more efficiently, searching for the best-fit talent, so you will experience less wasted time and money wasted sourcing the right candidates. Then you’ll notice the calibre of candidates are geared to your business and the role they are being considered for. You won’t be relying on costly agencies and head-hunters, who often find people who are poorly suited to the role and the process takes significantly longer than using an RPO. Ultimately your staff will stay longer and will be better equipped for their new role.

2. Scalability:

If you experience peaks and valleys to your recruitment demands, then an RPO is a way to scale this up and down accordingly, without wasting resources or time. You are paying for what you get with an RPO: the number of successfully filled vacancies. Not got any live vacancies? Don’t pay for any. RPO providers are flexible and can accommodate to your ever-changing situation.

3. Reduced time to hire:

Are you tired of taking time out of your day to interview and shortlist individuals for roles? Is a lack of process putting a strain on attracting talent? With an RPO processes are carried out

4. Talent pooling

RPO providers will present clients with the best-fit candidates for the job. But not all candidates at this stage will be selected, this is why all strong candidates are pooled and actively engaged with, creating a resource for future hiring. This is especially effective for companies that have spurts in hiring and is a key contributor to reducing time to hire. This is a great way of anticipating the need for similar candidates in a slightly different role within a company.

5. Reduces the need for direct advertising

Advertising comes at a premium. But when a company engages with an RPO provider they drastically slash these costs. Responsibility is placed into the RPO firms hands for finding candidates. They have all the necessary resources for tracking down the strongest candidates in a quick and efficient manner. Cutting out the middle man has never had more of a place.

A lot can be gained by picking an RPO model. Keep an eye out for our bespoke service.

A new way of thinking about RPO. #talentmode