Researchers have long projected that the U.S. would experience a structural shift in its demographic makeup. This prediction officially became a reality last year: According to the Washington Post, nonwhite hires among working age people (25 to 54) in 2018 were more than white hires for the first time ever—with the trend expected to continue this year, too.
This makes sense. The most common age among whites (the current majority ethnicity) is 58, per the Pew Research Center. That’s more than double the age of the racial and ethnic minorities in the country, with Black, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander all having an average age of under 30.
The future is here, and it’s more diverse than ever before.
These shifting demographic trends will have many effects and are set to fundamentally change your company’s early-career recruitment process. Here’s how the projected population breakdown will affect your strategy.
Future generations are slated to be more diverse than ever, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2018, non-Hispanic whites constituted a majority of the country’s population at 60 percent. Minorities made up the other 40 percent, but nearly 60 percent of minorities are Gen Z, Millennials, and younger.
The U.S. will become “minority white” by 2045—when whites will comprise less than 50 percent (49.7) of the population—claims Brookings. The rest of the projected breakdown by then will be as follows:
This represents a major transition for the country—and how your organization will recruit early-career candidates.
You’re probably thinking, “How does this affect me and my company’s early-career recruitment process?” The good news: The shifting national demographics will benefit your efforts. With Gen Z now charging into the workforce—and by 2021 comprising one-fifth of it—the recruitment strategy you need to attract and hire them revolves around diversity. Seventy-seven percent of Gen Z, in fact, want to work for a diverse organization.
Gen Z also possesses a 2-D understanding of diversity. The Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) claims this understanding involves a blend of two kinds of diversity: Inherent (traits you’re born with, like sexual orientation and race) and acquired (traits you gain through experience, like speaking another language after living in a foreign country). This mixture of both contributes to diversity of thought—something Gen Z highly values in employers.
CTI researchers also found that teams with 2-D diversity are 45 percent more likely to report market share growth, and 70 percent more likely to have captured a new market. That’s a win-win for your organization: Your company becomes a place Gen Z wants to work for and it increases revenue by attracting and hiring qualified diverse candidates.
But Gen Z isn’t alone in valuing diversity at work. According to the Institute of Public Relations, 47 percent of Millennials consider the D&I of a workplace a critically important criterion in their job search.
If your company emphasizes diverse early-career recruiting now, it’ll be ahead of the curve when both Gen Z and Millennials constitute the majority of the workforce—and that’s only a year away.