1 October 2008: Employers may be unwittingly discriminating against present and future employees - two years after the age discrimination legislation was introduced.
A major new research study entitled ‘Gen Up’ from Penna, working in collaboration with the CIPD, shows employers need to understand the four generations now present in the workforce in order to attract and retain them and ensure they are practising equality in everything from recruitment and benefits, to training and development.
The research shows that 25% of Veterans (aged over 60) and 22% of Baby Boomers (aged 45-60) would not apply for a job if it involved going through an assessment centre, whilst 44% of Baby Boomers would like to know about an employers approach to Equal Opportunities before accepting a job there – key information for employers looking to recruit an age diverse workforce.
The research also explores the needs and wants of the four generations, and found that 72% of Veterans (over 60s) would work beyond retirement age if they could chose their hours, and although Gen X (aged 30-45) want more of a work/life balance, 52% would happily work extra hours if those hours were flexible.
Anne Riley, Managing Director of Penna Recruitment Communications comments, “Employers know what they have to do by law to stick to the regulations, but that doesn’t stop some of them discriminating, albeit inadvertently, through a lack of understanding.
“This is the first time that there are four generations are in the workplace, and the fact that this is set against the current economic backdrop means that now more than ever, it is essential to attract and retain the best talent from all age groups.
“Of course there is - no ‘one size fits all’ solution but there are some common traits among the generations which employers need to grasp. Understanding the similarities is as important as understanding the differences,” concludes Riley.
Other findings from the research show communication on social responsibility and the ‘green’ agenda is typically targeted at the Generation Y when in fact it is the Baby Boomers who are most likely to take an employer’s reputation in these areas into account when applying for a job.
Whilst it is true that Generation Y is looking to add to its skills and will take control of their own career development it is the UK’s Baby Boomers that are the least happy with their personal development opportunities.
The complete ‘Gen Up’ report which includes best practice case studies from BNP Paribas, Google, Brunelcare, B&Q, P&G and McDonald’s is available now at http://www.penna.com/newsopinion/research.aspx
Penna’s research was carried out amongst 5,500 employees across six Western European countries.
For a copy of the report, to set up an interview or for further information, please contact:
Caroline Sweeney/Anna King / Kiren Pooni
020 7886 8440 / 07854 112612
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Penna in collaboration with the CIPD conducted over 5,500 interviews with employees across industry sectors and organisational sizes in six Western Europe countries. In additional focus groups were held with HR managers throughout the UK. The research was conducted between May and July 2008.
About Penna (www.penna.com)
Penna plc brings together expertise across the entire employment lifecycle. Penna has six business areas: Recruitment Communications, Executive Recruitment, Executive Interim, Board and Executive Coaching, HR Consulting and Career Transition.
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