What are the Implications of an Ageing Workforce for Employers?

Organisations have always been places that are perpetually renewed by a constant stream of younger workers, but for the first time all that is starting to change. With birth rates down, the retirement age rising and people generally healthier for longer, the workplace of the future could be quite different.

With a workforce that is gradually getting older, employers need to think about how they will not only cater for the diverse needs of different generations – but also vary their recruitment practices to appeal to all age groups.

Not enough young people to fill the roles

Being a good employer and filling vacancies with the most suitable candidates is no longer a simple case of attracting younger workers or the best graduates. Figures from ACAS show that, over the next ten years, 13.5 million jobs will be created in the UK but there will only be 7 million workers entering the labour market to fill them.

That means employers are increasingly going to have to target their efforts at recruiting older workers and adapting aspects of the recruitment process and the workplace to meet their needs. Needless to say, every generation is shaped by the economic circumstances, culture, education and society at the time. Although it’s wrong to generalise, it’s fair to say certain generations of workers will have different expectations around their careers.

Millennials currently rule the roost

Millennials at work

The largest demographic group currently in the workforce is the Millennials, defined as those born between 1980 and 2000. Millennials are typically less likely to stay in their current jobs for the long term when compared to previous generations. They have also enjoyed a unique career advantage in that many are more technologically capable than their senior managers. They are also more capable and flexible when it comes to adapting to new technology.

However, some employers will also be aware that Millennials are less comfortable with the rigid structures larger businesses tend to have and do not always give their employers long-term loyalty. This can cause problems for recruiters.

Many Millennials also value a flexible working life that may include some freedom to choose the hours they work or the ability to work from home. Employers that are willing to match these expectations may be able to put themselves at an advantage when it comes to recruitment.

The potential for conflict

Given the significant disparity in the way different generations work, there is potential for intergenerational conflict in the workplace which employers will have to cope with. One of the biggest differences is in the way they communicate, with younger workers typically happy to communicate electronically, while older workers value face-to-face meetings. Younger workers are also more likely to need regular praise, guidance and feedback, which can lead older workers to see them as needy.

There can also be significant differences in what each group expects from the workplace. Typically, the younger generation prefers an informal and sociable atmosphere, while older workers can favour a more formal workplace.

All this means there are likely to be considerable challenges ahead for employers and recruitment. Taking a pragmatic approach to recruiting and training each generation will help, but perhaps the key is to treat each worker as an individual regardless of their age and really get to their heart of what they need to succeed at work.

How can we help?

Are you looking for a bilingual recruit on the English South Coast? Whatever their age, we can help. Please call the Linguistica Recruitment team today on 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-recruitment.com to discuss your requirements.

Bilingual Jobseekers – Do you Speak a ‘Power Language’?

For bilingual jobseekers living in multilingual markets and countries where a second language is in high demand, the ability to speak one of the world’s dominant languages can greatly enhance not only their job prospects – but also their earning potential.

There’s no doubt that mastery of a second language gives power to the speaker, but that is more the case with some languages than others. English is still the dominant language around the world, but there is also a growing group of incredibly powerful languages that can unlock a host of opportunities and enhance the speaker’s life prospects significantly.

What is a ‘power language’?

The power of a language is based on more than just how many speakers there are. Languages are deemed to be powerful if they are used by economic or political groups. For example, in colonial countries, it is not uncommon to see a smaller language group dominate a much larger language population.

The Power Language Index (PLI) takes into account a diverse range of factors when measuring the power of a language. That includes things like:

  • The ability to travel widely
  • The ability to earn a livelihood
  • The ability to acquire knowledge and consume media
  • The ability to communicate with others
  • The ability to engage in diplomacy
  • The number of world-class universities that teach in the language

One of the most important factors in this list is whether mastery of a particular language enables the speaker to consume media and acquire knowledge. This is significant because the ability to access and understand online content and academic journals directly impacts the opportunities that are available.

And the results are in…

Perhaps not surprisingly, English has been ranked the most powerful language in every one of the factors that was measured. In terms of knowledge acquisition, a significant proportion of online content is written in English, as are the majority of leading academic journals. Many of the world’s top universities also teach in English – it is also spoken in eight of the world’s ten leading financial hubs and is the main language of diplomacy in the UN and the IMF.

Although Mandarin is growing significantly in power, it is still a distant second to English, with French, Spanish and Arabic filling the next three positions. Interestingly, even if all the Chinese languages/dialects (Mandarin being the largest) were measured as a whole, it would still not change the ranking.

The top ten looks like this:

  1. English
  2. Mandarin
  3. French
  4. Spanish
  5. Arabic
  6. Russian
  7. German
  8. Japanese
  9. Portuguese
  10. Hindi

The benefits of speaking a powerful language

Language is undoubtedly a tried and tested tool for success for many individuals, with the type of opportunities available dependent on an individual’s country of origin and their native tongue. Studies have shown that, in mature markets – such as the UK or the United States, speaking a second language can certainly lead to economic benefits. However, it is people born in developing markets or whose native language is less prominent who can really reap the rewards of speaking a powerful language.

Native speakers of powerful languages can still benefit from bilingualism, if not economically – then certainly culturally and personally. Becoming bilingual can also improve problem-solving skills and build the tools people need to lead a fulfilling life.

Apply for bilingual jobs today

Put your powerful language skills to the test by applying for a top bilingual job on the English South Coast. Send us your CV or browse our current vacancies online.