We are in a war for talent. And this war is exacerbated by massive generational differences that lead to large gaps in experience, expectations, and outlook towards the future. Much has been written on what many call an entitled generation of millennials (Gen Y). Next you have Gen Z, the first native digital generation, entering the workforce. The Boomers still control the capital purse, and Gen X is wedged in-between. Arguably, there has never been such a generational gap across the workforce.
In the context of innovation, however, this can be harnessed. Approximately 2/3 of the workforce will be Gen Y and Gen Z by 2025; however, this is a cohort where very few will have experience raising money, investing money, and allocating resources. It is mostly employment experience; thus, tapping into existing talent networks and leveraging those skillsets, across generations, is how we will innovate and win the battles in the market.
Hiring and recruitment will need to adapt to this new world of talent. In an era of rockstar CEOs and executives, much of the top talent has been marginalized and had their voices silenced. They have moved into more innovative, lean organizations where they can use their talents, even in situations where it has meant less pay or benefits. The key to leveraging talent is empathy, awareness and leadership, qualities that will become essential in the next generation of companies.