How do you search for jobs?

Would it be hugely different to the way your parents do? And how does that effect the way we should advertise positions? And does that impact the global work force?

I have just read an interesting report on Recruitment Grapevine which was produced by Indeed Hiring Lab, the report has revealed the differences and similarities in job search behaviour between Baby Boomers (people aged 51 to 70), Gen Xers (31 to 50) and Millennials (21 to 30).

The research found notable differences in the behaviour which not only impact the way we search for jobs but also the way the workforce is made up particularly as “Baby Boomers” start to retire.

Millennials are predicted to make up half of the global workforce by 2020. 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 ‘blue collar’ jobs in favour of office-based, creative jobs in Sales, Arts, Design, Media and Education.

The research also looks in to the methods used by each generation when looking for work and key findings are broken down as follows:


  • The majority (73%) of job search queries come from a mobile device – consistent with their more general familiarity with technology
  • 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
  • Their top search query is ‘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

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • They show more interest in ‘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
  • The industries that attract most interest from this group are Installation, Maintenance and Repair, Building and Construction

Certainly an interesting report which highlights potential skills shortages in the future and reinforces how important it is to be tech-savvy in the way we advertise opportunities!