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Indeed Hiring Lab reveals job search habits of 3 generations of talent

While the workforce is currently divided almost evenly between the three generations, Millennials are predicted to make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020. The talent gaps left as Baby Boomers retire open up opportunities for Millennials in key industries such as Healthcare. However, low interest in trade occupations such as Construction and Transportation amongst younger generations may indicate future talent shortages in this sector, as a younger, tech savvy generation shun traditionally & lsquo;blue collar’ jobs in favour of office-based, creative jobs in Sales, Arts, Design, Media and Education.

Preparing for tomorrow’s talent demands

The research indicates that each generation of job seekers is influenced by job market conditions, searching more in occupations and areas where there are most jobs. Baby Boomers follow this trend most closely, followed by Gen Xers, with the Millennials likely to catch up as they settle into the workforce. However, there are some troubling gaps between the types of jobs that jobseekers show interest in, and those on offer from employers.


&middot         The majority (73%) of job search queries come from a mobile device – consistent with their more general familiarity with technology

&middot         They show the most interest in a career in Office or Administrative Support, while there is less demand for jobs as Healthcare Practitioners and Technical

&middot         Their top search query is & lsquo;bank’, however wider industry trends pointing to Millennial disillusionment with this sector suggest that this interest may be in a technology or support capacity, rather than working as an investment banker

Generation X

&middot         This group is similarly tech-savvy, with 75% of job search queries conducted on the move

&middot         Although this group is often left out of the workforce conversation, Gen Xers have been honing their leadership and tech skills, making them great candidates for the senior-level roles that Baby Boomers will retire from – this is reflected in their top search term of management. This may suggest that the level and type of role is more important to them at this stage of their career, than the industry in which they work

&middot         Jobs in the Computing and Mathematical field, as well as Architecture and Engineering also feature in their top search terms – this may be evidence of the impact of government initiatives launched to boost interest in STEM subjects in the UK, following a dramatic decline in students studying these subjects to A-level in the 1990s

Baby Boomers

&middot         Just 51% of search queries come from a mobile device, with this group relying more heavily on desktop computers for web browsing than their younger counterparts

&middot         This group has been in the workforce the longest, and they plan to stay on longer than previous generations did – this intention is reflected in their interest in part-time jobs, which may be one way of delaying retirement in favour of working fewer hours

&middot         They show more interest in & lsquo;blue collar’ jobs, with “Driver” and “Warehouse” appearing in their top search terms – it may be that these are the jobs that are most consistent with their desire to work more flexibly

&middot         The industries that attract most interest from this group are Installation, Maintenance and Repair, Building and Construction

“The varying level of interest in specific sectors must be considered against the backdrop of the types of jobs that employers are offering.  There are many more Millennials looking for jobs in business and finance compared to Baby Boomers, far outstripping current opportunity in this sector. On the other hand, we can expect to see skills shortages in trade professions, with interest dropping steadily down the generations,” says Tara Sinclair, chief economist at Indeed. 

“Governments are generally forced to be reactive to employment trends. However, developing a full picture of the generational landscape in this way helps us to understand and forecast potential skills gaps and shortages. This insight is invaluable for employers, who can begin to adopt strategies to navigate through these shifts. For example, it may be that they should consider their recruitment strategy with a view to tapping into potential pockets of talent in other markets – our research showed that 9% of job seekers across the world are already searching for jobs in another country.”


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