What Demographic Trends Should HR Departments be Monitoring?

Our company is currently going through a growth period, and we are hoping to hire new employees to fulfill several open positions within our company. We are looking for employees at specific skill and experience levels. We pride ourselves on being a diverse company and hire employees who are best suited for our culture and talent needs. What demographic trends should we be looking at when it comes to the attraction and retention and the future growth of our company?

--Managing Diversity


Dear Managing Diversity,

Today’s corporations are continually adapting to new practices to strengthen their business. One of the many departments affected by demographic changes is human resources departments. The pool of employees has become increasingly more diverse, and companies have had to make changes in how they manage people to adapt to the needs of today’s workforce.

HR departments should look at diversity trends, specifically those related to aging populations of workers and the introduction of new generations to the workforce. Knowing how to attract, manage, and retain a multi-generational workforce can help organizations reduce turnover, increase employee engagement, and improve company culture.

Workplace demographics now include four generations. Now, it is common to see 20-year-old new hires working side-by-side colleagues who are older than they are by 40 years or more. What does this mean to companies looking to grow?


1. Competition for talent is escalating.

Companies must tailor recruitment messages to each generation will attract talent across the age spectrum. Offer options that allow employees to mold their work environment to what best suits their needs. Because the job market is so competitive, companies should consider offering workers flexibility and incentives. Create meaningful work opportunities that appeal to each generation. When hiring for an open position, highlight the employee journey and note areas where growth, advancement, and recognition are achievable.


2. Workers in each generation have different needs and ideas that the employer needs to address.

To recruit Millennial and Generation Z workers while also retaining older generations, managers and company leaders will need to understand and appeal to the perspectives, communication styles, and work ethic of each generation in their workforce. Create a work environment where employee feedback is valued and acted on in a timely way. Make employees feel appreciated by learning about their communication style and taking time to see the workplace through their perspective. Give employees time to talk to one and other to increase understanding across the generations and improve opportunities for them to train and educate each other.


3. Productivity and business results linked to corporate culture.

Companies need engaged employees. New hires, as well as existing employees, show active engagement when they are willing and able to contribute to organizational success. For employees to be engaged and thrive in the direction of success, they must be part of inclusive environments that give them value, rewards, and development opportunities. Employees from each represented generation should have the opportunity to contribute to the company’s success. Because company leaders are now managing a vastly diverse set of employees, generational differences can surface. However, in most cases, generational differences lead to creativity, better-trained employees, and an increase in productivity.


Although there are important differences between the generations, they also have many things in common. Successful human resources departments know this and are finding creative ways to take advantage of both similarities and differences. They are playing a significant role in the growth of their companies by actively seeking better ways to communicate, manage, and engage employees from every generation. When making crucial hiring decisions, HR departments are looking at demographic trends and preparing for workforce newcomers by implementing recruitment and retention strategies that prove to be effective across a multi-generational workforce.


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