WORKPLACE REDEFINED - Robert Half Study Examines Shifting Workplace,
Generational Attitudes in Transitioning Economy

TORONTO, July 15 /CNW/ - The more things change, the more different generations of workers become the same, suggests a new study ( from Robert Half. The research shows that workers of all ages have a new appreciation for company stability when making career decisions. Yet, for many, getting to firmer ground may entail a career change: Four out of 10 professionals polled said they are more inclined to look for new opportunities outside their firms as a result of the recession. Other findings include:

    -   Pay is not keeping up with performance. More than one-third (37 per
        cent) of employees felt they are not being fairly compensated for
        assuming a greater workload during the recession.

    -   Work is more engaging. About one in four (28 per cent) said they are
        more engaged in their work as a result of the recession.

    -   Generational views on next career steps differ. For Gen Y, looking
        for a new job is the most common post-recession career plan, whereas
        Gen Xers polled said they are more inclined to update their skills.
        For baby boomers surveyed, staying put at their companies was the
        most commonly cited post-recession career plan.

    -   Cross-generational teams bring challenges, rewards. Nearly three-
        quarters (72 per cent) of hiring managers said managing
        multigenerational work teams poses a challenge. But more than one-
        third of workers polled felt having a group of employees at different
        experience levels increases productivity.

    -   Retirement plans are being put on hold. Nearly half (46 per cent) of
        workers believe they will work past the traditional retirement age,
        and more than one-third said the recent recession has had a very
        strong impact on those plans.

The study was developed by Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. More than 1,400 professionals across Canada and the United States who are employed full-time and have university degrees, or are earning university degrees, were surveyed for the project, including 502 hiring managers. Respondents included members of the baby boomer generation (approximately 46 to 64 years old), Generation X (approximately 32 to 45 years old) and Generation Y (approximately 21 to 31 years old*).

*Does not include all of Generation Y, only the segment old enough to have entered the workforce who have college degrees or are currently attending university.

"Our research reveals that there are several parallels across generations, which may be partly attributed to recent economic challenges," said Kathryn Bolt, president of Robert Half International's Canadian operations. "As the job market rebounds, understanding what motivates employees can help companies augment their recruitment and retention efforts."

    Generational Similarities

Following are five similarities among the generations revealed in the Robert Half research:

     1.    For all generations surveyed, working for a stable company and
           having job security were two of the most important aspects of the
           work environment, beating out having a short commute or working
           for a socially responsible company.

     2.    When evaluating employment offers, salary, company stability and
           benefits were the most important factors for all three
           generations, according to those polled.

     3.    Extended healthcare coverage, dental coverage, vacation time and
           RRSP matching were the highest valued benefits for all generations

     4.    Among professionals who plan to work past the traditional
           retirement age, strong majorities in all generations cited the
           past recession as an important factor in their decision.

     5.    The most commonly cited benefit of being part of multigenerational
           work teams was bringing together various experience levels to
           provide knowledge in specific areas.

    Generational Differences

Following are five differences among the generations revealed in the Robert Half research:

     1.    When it comes to post-recession career plans, more Gen Yers (36
           per cent) than Gen Xers (30 per cent) and baby boomers (24 per
           cent) planned to look for new job opportunities.

     2.    Gen Xers polled were more inclined to enhance their skills sets
           (38 per cent) and build tenure with their companies (33 per cent)
           in the aftermath of the recession than other generations.

     3.    A greater percentage of baby boomers (54 per cent) than Gen X (46
           per cent) or Gen Y (39 per cent) respondents said they will work
           past the traditional retirement age.

     4.    More Gen Xers (34 per cent) than baby boomers (27 per cent) said
           they had increased their retirement savings since the recession

     5.    More baby boomers (54 per cent) than Gen X (45 per cent) or Gen Y
           (35 per cent) employees identified the greatest challenge when
           working with multiple generations as having differing work ethics
           and approaches to work/life balance; more Gen Yers attributed
           difficulties to differing communication styles (29 per cent for
           Gen Y versus 16 per cent for both Gen X respondents and baby

"With the job market stabilizing, many employees, particularly Gen Y professionals, may start to consider other employment opportunities," said Bolt. "Developing a sound retention strategy, including the review of top performers' career paths and compensation levels should be a priority for companies looking to maximize emerging growth opportunities,"

About Robert Half International

Robert Half International is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with more than 360 worldwide staffing locations. The company's specialized staffing divisions include Accountemps(R), Robert Half(R) Finance & Accounting, and Robert Half(R) Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam(R), for highly skilled temporary administrative support; Robert Half(R) Technology, for technology professionals; Robert Half(R) Legal, for project and full-time staffing of lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel; and The Creative Group(R), for creative, advertising, marketing and web design professionals. Find more information at and follow us on Twitter at

SOURCE Robert Half International (Canada)

For further information: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330,,

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