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When 4 Generations of IT Collide

By Susan Nunziata  |  Posted 07-13-2010 Print
There are four distinct generations at work in IT departments. Knowing the core characteristics of each is essential to recruiting, motivating and retaining top talent, even when their values clash in the workplace.

More than seven in 10 IT workers (73 percent) are under age 45 according to a study conducted by IT staffing firm TEKsystems. This age dynamic is likely to impact the way effective IT leaders manage their teams, especially as 60 percent of IT leaders expect to increase spending on IT projects over the next six months. To meet the demand increases for IT projects and the associated talent requirements of these undertakings, 81percent of IT leaders expect to increase or maintain their percentage of temporary workers in the 2Q 2010.

TEKsystems partners with the Inavero Institute to conduct its quarterly IT and Talent Survey. This quarter's survey reflects the perspectives of nearly 1,000 CIOs and IT decision makers in the U.S. and Canada.

The survey reveals the four generations working side by side in today's IT workforce, and the percentage of IT workers theses generations represent:

  • Silent Generation (born 1922 - 1946): 1%
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946 - 1964): 26%
  • Generation X (born 1964 - 1980): 52%
  • Millennials / Generation Y (born 1980 - 2000): 21%

Rapid changes in the workplace are effecting how these generations interact. "As organizations are downsizing, merging, acquiring and/or consolidating, they are also eliminating many middle management positions and moving toward flatter organizational structures with more limited upward mobility," says Tania Lavin, TEKsystems Market Research Manager, in a prepared statement. "This trend, coupled with various technological drivers, results in situations where candidates from different generations increasingly compete for the same jobs."


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