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NEW STUDY: The Multi-Generational Job Search

Recently, Beyond.com was approached by Millennial Branding to work together to have a better understanding of how different generations search for jobs. We surveyed close to 5,270 members of the Beyond.com Career Network and asked them to self-select themselves into a generation based on their age range, Gen Y (18 to 29 year olds), Gen X (30 to 47 year olds), and Baby Boomers (48 to 67 year olds).  We then asked the survey respondents the same set of questions to determine the differences among the behaviors of each generation when it comes to finding a new job.

These findings have been packaged into the “The Multi-Generational Job Search”.  So what did we learn?

It is no surprise that members of all three generations spend the majority of their time job searching online, where they spend 5 to 20 hours a week searching for their next great opportunity.  In a time when the “Help Wanted” sign and classified ads are being left in the dust, it makes perfect sense that candidates are searching online through job boards and company websites.  But, in a time when I am constantly reading about recruitment through social media, I don’t think we’re quite there yet.  We’re getting closer, but Facebook and Twitter aren’t viewed by job seekers as a go-to recruitment resource.  However, we can now confidently say that Baby Boomers are heavy LinkedIn users, but Gen X and Gen Y are big into running Google searches to find opportunities.

Gen Y is the most optimistic when it comes to finding a job, which can be attributed to the fact that their parents have a large involvement in their lives as coaches, cheerleaders, and safety nets that make it okay to make mistakes and try new things like going back to school or starting their own businesses (they’re most likely to do both of these things than other generations).

Gen X values job security and has suffered more stress and frustration due to unemployment relative to others. Gen X may be suffering the most stress because they are more likely to have people that they directly support like spouses and children, hence why job security and benefits such as health insurance are most important to this group. 

While Baby Boomers are the group to use social media sites in their job search the most, when asked if they take the time to manage their online presence, they said no—but in reality they should—perhaps they should ask their Gen Y kids for help on this.

For more findings from this study you can go to http://millennialbranding.com/2012/09/multi-generational-job-search-study/ and if you want some additional insight into why different generations tend to search in certain ways, feel free to reach out to us at Beyond.com for comment.