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Effectively Hiring For A Multigenerational Workforce

Working with a multigenerational workforce

With our 2015 Salary Guide, Accounting Principals offers the most competitive salaries for hiring accounting and finance professionals. While it’s important to be zealous with salary, a coequally important aspect of hiring is making sure a candidate can effectively work with a multigenerational workforce.

Today’s American workforce is unique in that, for the first time in history, four distinct generations are working side-by-side: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X & Generation Y. For a company to succeed, all must coexist productively.

Every generation offers distinctly different challenges, strengths & work styles. The key to working with a multigenerational workforce is understanding the needs & expectations of each generation to leverage the combined potential of the group.

Interaction between generations can be complex and challenging, especially in the case of younger workers taking leadership roles. However, every generation does have one thing in common: they want to feel that their experience, knowledge, and skills are valued and respected. Whether you are an experienced manager overseeing a younger staff, or you manage employees of an older generation, a candidate needs the appropriate skills to maximize productivity, loyalty and unity of a multigenerational team.

How does a real candidate work effectively with a multigenerational workforce? Meet Jason, A Staff Accountant!

As a Staff Accountant, Jason assists Senior Accountants in the research and preparation for audits, projects, and taxes. A Staff Accountant typically has 1-3 years of experience.

In the video below, Jason explains how he effectively works with different generations:

What are the main objectives a candidate should evaluate in working with a multigenerational team? Let’s highlight some key attributes:

Communicate Openly and Set Clear Objectives

If there is a common thread between all generations, it is the need for meaningful input. Corporations stuck in traditional models with closed-door policies, isolated executives, and highly structured communication channels will find themselves at odds with the new dynamics.

On the other hand, successful organizations are those that maintain open lines of communication and make sure job duties and responsibilities are clearly defined. Communicating with each generation will help you become familiar with their perspectives and better prepare you to interact with all different types of workers.

Do The Homework

For a younger member of the workforce, they may need to consider researching the work environment of the 1970s and 1980s. Remember that many Baby Boomers are unaccustomed to not being in charge and have a difficult time taking a back seat. Therefore, it’s important to not come across as a know-it-all.

It’s important to treat older workers like colleagues and above all, respect them. They will be a tremendous resource in helping you achieve your department and company goals — utilize their assets, learn from their experiences and integrate them into planning and strategy efforts!

According to the Family & Work Institute, 73 percent of Baby Boomers give younger workers low marks on being supportive of their success. The more you can help knock down any potential barriers, the more successful everyone will be.

Be A Mentor

If you’re in a position of working with a younger staff, get to know your employees on a personal level and show them that you are genuinely interested and supportive of their success. Be a mentor to your Gen-X staff — sometimes, as a result of their over-eagerness, they need the methodical step-by-step instruction and coaching that only someone with years of experience can offer. Above all, treat them with respect and manage them in ways you’d appreciate being managed by others.

While your employees may share a mutual desire for recognition, they all may not crave the same type of recognition. Every employee is an individual and every accomplishment is unique. A standard form of recognition for every achievement doesn’t do much to inspire your employees to continue doing their best — in fact it only makes your acknowledgement monotonous. Part of what makes a successful recognition program is maintaining the elementof surprise.

Make Sure To Deliver Praise As An Employer

Once you get to know your employees, you should have a good idea of what each one will appreciate. Are they the type who prefers to be recognized officially or personally; formally or informally; publicly or privately? Would they like a gift, a note, or just some simple verbal praise? Also, take into account what they did to deserve your recognition. Someone who just completed a rigorous two-month project should be rewarded more substantially than an employee who stayed late for a night or two. No matter what you do, make sure you take the time to customize your reward — when you put some thought into how you say “thanks,” your people will value it even more.

Looking to hire a Staff Accountant like Jason?

Our 2015 Salary Guide goes beyond the numbers to help employers do more than offer a decent salary. Get a better understanding of what these professionals are looking for in a job. Request your free copy here!


Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.