Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Multi-Generational Job Search
Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm and Beyond.com, The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally, today announced the first comprehensive study on how different generations job search called “The Multi-Generational Job Search.” 5,268 job seekers were surveyed total, including 742 Gen Y (18-29 year olds), 1,676 Gen X (30-47) and 2,850 Baby Boomers (48-67).
The study highlights that all generations are spending almost all of their time job searching online instead of offline. In many ways, the job hunt is the same no matter what your age. All generations spend an average of between 5 and 20 hours per week searching for jobs. The study shows that all generations largely focus their job search energy online instead of offline, which is a big difference from a decade ago when people could not rely on social networks to connect with recruiters. Despite the rise of social networking, the vast majority of all generations rely on job boards as a primary resource — Baby Boomers especially (87 percent), but a high percentage of younger job seekers as well (77 percent of Gen Y). People still value job boards because they raise awareness for open positions and because it is easy to submit a resume through them.
Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of Me 2.0. was surprised to learn that a mature out-of-work dad might be relying on social networks for a job search, even more than his fresh-out-of-school kid. "You would think they (Boomers) would return to how they always have looked for jobs, but they're not. I would recommend finding job opportunities online but meeting people in person off line to make the connection."
Baby Boomers are using social networks, especially LinkedIn, more than other generations for their job search — 29 percent, compared to 23 percent of Gen Y and 27 percent of Gen X. Also somewhat surprising, the Boomers are the most likely to conduct an online job search, though the vast majority of all job seekers do so — 96 percent of Boomers, compared to 92 percent and 95 percent of Gen Y and Gen X, respectively.
Boomers, it seems, may be slightly more likely to search online for jobs because they’ve been unemployed longer, and the kinds of jobs they tend to seek (corporate, well-paid) are found at job boards and other online source. Nearly 70 percent of Boomers say they are frustrated and even depressed by the job search.
Baby Boomers also take more pains to prepare for job interviews than the younger generations: 85 percent of Boomers take the time to view the company’s website before interviewing, and 64 percent search for news related to the company beforehand, compared to 78% and 58% for Gen X and 71% and 53% for Gen Y. Again, the need for better preparation may be related to the kinds of jobs Boomers are applying for, in which a solid understanding and interest in the business is required before being hired.
The study found the majority of Boomers prepare for interviews by reviewing the company's website. Meanwhile, the majority of Gen Y prepares by practicing interview questions. Gen Y's approach works better. Schwabel says, "Boomers have been interviewing their whole lives. They probably are not practicing as much because they think they already know how to do it."
Yet, clearly the results show Boomers need job search help. There could be some age discrimination at play. The study found 65% of Boomers said they feel like they suffer from age discrimination in their search. Janette Marx, a senior vice president at Adecco, told Forbes.com: “There are many companies where mature workers are in high demand.” Her advice for mature workers, who may not have interviewed for a job for a long time: Sell yourself by talking specifically about accomplishments and quantify achievements with numbers.
“You don’t need to be humble,” says Marx. “Make sure you are truly telling your story and selling yourself.”