Multigenerational workforce

Patient in waiting room

Employing different age groups can bring variety to your workforce and create a wide range of dynamic skills and experience.

Did you know?
  • There are four different age ranges in the workplace, Generation Z, Generation Y, Generation X and baby boomers. 
  • Totaljobs research has shown that 63 per cent of 55 to 64 year olds felt that they were discriminated against by a prospective employer because of their age. 
  • 51 per cent of apprentices in the NHS are over 25 years of age.
  • Age is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, which means it is illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their age. 
  • Use different channels of communication for different age groups. This handy infographic gives information about communicating reward to diverse generations.
  • Showcase a variety of career pathways, such as apprenticeships or return to practice routes, as these will appeal to people at different stages of life.
  • Take a look at the NHS ThinkFuture campaign for support in bringing more young people into your workforce. 
  • Try to understand and tackle age bias in the context of your own organisation by recognising your employing patterns. 
  • Think about your wording throughout the recruitment process. For example, using the word ‘experienced’ can unconsciously discriminate against younger candidates. Instead focus on the job itself and the skills required. 
  • Try to avoid descriptive words such as ‘lively’, which could give the impression your organisation is looking for a younger worker.
  • Broaden the range of career pathways within your organisation, including using apprenticeships. These options can open up your organisation to more candidates. 
  • Streamline your application process. Asking for a candidate’s date of birth or dates of previous employment can deter people from applying.

Retaining people in your workforce who have the skills and knowledge your organisation needs now and in the future, can provide huge benefits.

  • Give employees the support they need in financial planning for later life. There are many ways employers can help staff improve their financial wellbeing.
  • Think about offering working from home or flexible hours to support people working longer. Find out more in the flexible retirement hub.
  • Support people through later life transitions, for example becoming a carer, developing a health condition, or experiencing bereavement.
  • Have a mentor scheme in which diverse age ranges can share skills and learn from one another.

Further reading

What comes next? Read about Health Education England's national framework for engaging with schools and communities in order to build a diverse healthcare workforce.
CIPD booklet  Read about the benefits and challenges of an age-diverse workforce.
TPP recruitment guidance TPP has guidance on the benefits of a multigenerational workforce.
Barclays report Barclays has a report on exploring the benefits engagement challenge.

Find out more about other community groups you may want to engage with and recruit into your organisation. 

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