All generations looking for job security: Study

4 in 10 more likely to look for a new job as a result of recession

The more things change, the more different generations of workers become the same with workers of all ages looking for career stability, according to a new study by staffing firm Robert Half.

“Our research reveals that there are several parallels across generations, which may be partly attributed to recent economic challenges,” said Kathryn Bolt, president of Robert Half International’s Canadian operations.

“As the job market rebounds, understanding what motivates employees can help companies augment their recruitment and retention efforts.”

Robert Half surveyed more than 1,400 professionals across Canada. Respondents included members of the baby boomer generation (approximately 46 to 64 years old), generation X (approximately 32 to 45 years old) and generation Y (approximately 21 to 31 years old).

For many respondents, finding job security may entail a career change, with forty per cent saying they are more inclined to look for new opportunities outside their firms as a result of the recession.

5 generational similarities

1. For all generations surveyed, working for a stable company and having job security were two of the most important aspects of the work environment, beating out having a short commute or working for a socially responsible company.

2. When evaluating employment offers, salary, company stability and benefits were the most important factors for all three generations.

3. Extended health-care coverage, dental coverage, vacation time and registered retirement savings plan matching were the highest valued benefits.

4. Among professionals who plan to work past the traditional retirement age, strong majorities in all generations cited the past recession as an important factor in their decision.

5. The most commonly cited benefit of being part of multigenerational work teams was bringing together various experience levels to provide knowledge in specific areas.

5 generational differences

1. When it comes to post-recession career plans, more generation Yers (36 per cent) than generation Xers (30 per cent) and baby boomers (24 per cent) planned to look for new job opportunities.

2. Generation Xers were more inclined to enhance their skills sets (38 per cent) and build tenure with their companies (33 per cent) in the aftermath of the recession than other generations.

3. A greater percentage of baby boomers (54 per cent) than generation X (46 per cent) or generation Y (39 per cent) respondents said they will work past the traditional retirement age.

4. More generation Xers (34 per cent) than baby boomers (27 per cent) said they had increased their retirement savings since the recession began.

5. More baby boomers (54 per cent) than generation X (45 per cent) or generation Y (35 per cent) employees identified the greatest challenge when working with multiple generations as having differing work ethics and approaches to work-life balance; more Gen Yers attributed difficulties to differing communication styles (29 per cent for Gen Y versus 16 per cent for both Gen X respondents and baby boomers).

Latest stories