The real problem with Gen X, Y, and Z

Hint: Nothing. The problem is ours…

For the love of Pete, please stop crafting pieces about Generation Z and how they want these absurd things like feedback, and communications, and good managers, and oxygen. It’s draining and infuriating. If you want to write about a cohort, come to the table with an insight that is genuinely unique about the audience. Until then, save your word count. It’s time we let go of this generational generalization when it comes to candidate experience.

It’s safe to say that every single generation in the workforce today wants the same general things out of the candidate, and employee experience. That’s not to say there is zero nuance to how we might interact with and engage the different generations, but, it’s a safe bet to say people want to be:

·        Treated fairly

·        Have a good boss

·        Be paid their worth

·        Have affordable health benefits

·        Get paid time off

·        Receive feedback in a timely fashion

·        Get a response when they apply or express interest in a job

·        To be told why they were not selected

·        To understand what makes your company unique and who fits in there

This is not rock science. This is not generational. It is general. And to be clear, it’s obviously very hard. So much so, there are very few employers (even the ones on the Best Place to Work lists and the CandEs) who are nailing the candidate and employee experience. We are not getting the basics above right with any consistency, so who are we to determine that it’s time to innovate, and segment.  So instead of trying to separate the audience even further, let’s start trying to nail the basics before we dive deep into the nuance.

As I noted six years ago, in a piece on Gen Z that I called the On Demand Generation, the nuances are going to make things incredibly interesting. Each generation is different to a degree. As I noted years ago, the nuance in the channel strategy alone is mind-blowing. Let along what kinds of content is most readily consumed by each generation. But none of these things will matter at all if we are unable to meet the basic needs of everyone. As this new cohort emerges in the workforce, spend this precious time figuring out how to meet some of the needs listed above, it will be honestly, so worth it. In fact, it will be such a boon to your talent strategy that the nuanced optimization will feel like nuance when you see the results.