New Research on How Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers Search for Jobs

New research on how Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers search for jobs

In 1966, Time magazine named an entire generation as Person of the Year, saying, “Never have the young been so assertive or so articulate, so well educated or so worldly…This is not just a new generation, but a new kind of generation.” That generation, the Baby Boomers, became an exceptional economic force — over the next 40 years, they hit homeownership highs, unprecedented consumer spending and record rates of labor force participation.

Today, we expect each new generation to have a similar impact on the economy. Millennials, for example, are often called entitled but they’re also purpose driven and highly educated — and recruiting them into existing and emerging fields is top of mind for every employer. With unemployment down and confidence high for the first time in many years, employers are finding it more important than ever to attract and retain Gen Xers as well. At the same time, they’re preparing for a wave of Boomer retirements.

By examining how people from each generation look for jobs we can learn where candidates’ interests lie and how employers can plan for coming talent gaps and surpluses. The latest report from the Indeed Hiring Lab, Three Generations of Talent: Who’s Looking for Jobs Today, reveals that Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers do have varying occupational interests, all searching for different types of jobs in different locations.

Despite their differences, however, our research indicates that these generations are similar in some crucial ways. For one, no matter their age, all job seekers are responding to what’s available in the labor market, searching more in the occupations and locations where many jobs are available. Baby Boomers adhere closest to this trend, followed closely by Gen Xers and Millennials, respectively. This suggests that as a person ages into her career, she becomes more attuned to the jobs employers are offering and makes decisions accordingly.

Mobile is another point of intersection for job seekers from all three generations. Not surprisingly, younger generations overwhelmingly prefer mobile job search — 73.4% of Millennials click on jobs from mobile and 71.3% of Gen Xers do the same. Baby Boomers are not far behind, though. Nearly half (48.4%) of them click on jobs via their mobile device. As Aaron Kraljev, Vice President of Employer Marketing at Wells Fargo, notes in the report, “While we’ve found that younger segments are more adept at technological advances in the application process, we also know that for most of our workforce, people are basically on the same page in how they approach their job search. It’s part of how anyone looks for a job now.”

Alongside this and other input from leading employers, the full report contains in-depth analysis of search trends and patterns, including a closer look at generational interest in key areas like Healthcare and STEM. Download the free report to learn more about how you can incorporate these findings on who’s searching for jobs into your understanding of Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer candidates.

Download the free report