How To Engage and Attract Multiple Generations: Dr Paul Redmond

Dr Paul Redmond, Head of Careers and Employability at the University of Liverpool, shares insights into how to engage and attract multiple generations.

Dr Paul Redmond of the University of Liverpool, one of the country’s leading experts on generations and the graduate labour market, helps us understand how to engage and attract multiple generations.

In this section:

  • "Every generation is a new people." Understanding the Shift
  • The Role of Technology
  • Who's Who: Generation Profiles
  • Tips for Engaging Each Generation

“Every Generation is a New People”– Understanding the Shift

The world has changed: politically, economically, socially, technologically and demographically. For the first time, there are more young people coming into management roles in companies – a shift has taken place. The assumptions are that each generation knows how to manage these changes and different age groups and the language they each use but this can be difficult.  The key question to ask is not how old people are but when they were young. (Porter, 2000)

The Role of Technology

It could be argued that people now wear more technology than most of the technology available in the 60’s. It’s common to see photos of people using their phones when together in groups. Research is finding that people are texting each other, and tweeting when they’re together. 

Perhaps reality is less interesting for people than the story we tell about it now via social media? It’s only considered ‘real’ when it’s on Facebook or Twitter, such as the example of when the Olympics team in Canada filmed themselves on video - this is a reality. Strategies are largely focused now on how we can use research to better position our industry in the marketplace but people are still missing the opportunities. Things are not going to go back the way, so how DO we engage different generations? First, we need to know who’s who….

Who’s Who: Generation Profiles

Baby Boomers –Born between 1945 and 1961 (Idealists)

Generation X – Born between 1962 and 1977 (Reactive)

Generation Y – Born between 1978 and 1999 (Civic) Children of the baby boomers – they don’t mind hanging out with their mums and dads. The most qualified generation. They’ve got ideas.

Millennials - Born from 2000 (Adaptive) The “thumb generation”, growing up in cyberspace and incredibly empowered with technology. Small children already show ‘tech’ skills that older generations would die for. Growing up with Apple products, they don’t know how books work and they are causing chaos!

This resource was created from content drawn from the Business Tourism Scotland Conference 2013.