The demographics of the workforce are always changing, and as recruiters you need to stay on top of them to ensure you understand which candidates to look for.
The demographics of the world are always shifting, as populations age and people move between countries. This can make recruitment a difficult job if you aren’t keeping up with the current state of your workforce. The industry’s landscape is continually changing, and you need to make sure you’re up to speed.
This is especially true when it comes to different generations. As young professionals enter the workforce and older employees hold off retiring for longer, it’s easy to lose track of who you’re looking for in your search for the top candidates.
Don’t worry; we’re here to help. We’ve compiled information about workforce demographics so you can understand what to expect when you recruit. Here is what the recruitment landscape looks like today
Millennials are dominating
First and foremost, you need to make sure your efforts are firmly targeted at millennials, generally defined as those born between 1981 and 1996. This is not because they are more important or valuable than any other demographics, of course; it is simply that they will soon be the largest group in the workforce.
EY has estimated that by 2025, millennials will make up around three-quarters of the global workforce. By this year, the demographic group will be between the ages of 29 and 44, which will mean they are likely to be looking for higher-level, management-tier jobs.
It’s tempting to see millennials as young and trendy, but that stereotype is already out of date. This demographic is hardworking and ambitious, so be prepared for them to be disinterested in low-level jobs, particularly as time goes on.
Also, how you attract them is key, a study by Cheeky Munkey showed “Only 19% of millennials like to be cold contacted by a recruiter, yet this is an increasingly common practice in the recruitment industry”, time for a new approach?.
…But Gen Z is smaller than you might expect
Generation Z – those born after 1996 – is the latest demographic to enter the workforce. However, while much attention has been given to how to integrate them into employment, they aren’t as as large an age group as you might think, thanks in part to slightly declining birth rates in the UK.
Between May and July 2018, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded 3.85 million people aged between 16 and 24 in employment. This is around 68,000 fewer young people than the same period a year earlier. The number of members of Generation Z entering the workforce is not going to be as vast as the number of millennials.
Mums are still working hard
The stereotype for a long time was that once a woman decided to have a family, she would give up her career. That stereotype still persists, but it is being proven less and less accurate as more mothers are staying in their jobs and keep working after having a child.
In fact, only around ten per cent of UK women have given up their career in order to start a family. This equates to almost three-quarters (74.1 per cent) of women with dependent children who have decided to work. Recruiters need to be prepared for this, because just like millennials, flexibility is important. Recent research found that 75 per cent of millenial workers would favour a job that gives them the option to work flexibly with 81 per cent of women say that flexible working would make a job more appealing.
The workforce is getting older
With improvements in healthcare and lifestyle, it is not surprising to find out that people are living longer than they used to. However, they are also staying in the workforce for longer, partly because they are healthier and partly because they have more of a need to improve their financial situations.
This can be seen in the fact that fewer people are taking early retirement, and many are staying in the workforce longer than they need. The percentage of workers over 65 years old has doubled in the last ten years, and this trend shows no signs of reversing. Recruiters need to remember that an increasing number of candidates will be older, and will, therefore, have different needs.
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