Baby Boomers and “Millennials,” Wal-Mart Canada has a job for you.
The world’s largest retailer is looking to expand its employee base in Canada from 70,000 today to over 110,000 in the next five years.
“When you factor in both our growth and turnover, we must hire over 40,000 people every year just to keep up,” said Mary-Alice Vuicic, vice president of people for Wal-Mart Canada, speaking at the retailer’s analyst and investor day that was held in Canada on Tuesday.
To meet the challenge, Wal-Mart has taken a scientific approach, slicing its Canadian workforce into four key generational groups: traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers, and “Millennials.”
Here is what Vuicic had to say about each demographic and why Wal-Mart Canada is focusing on two of them — Baby Boombers and Millennials — as sources of new employees:
— The traditionalists: “Born between 1933 and 1945, they make up less than 10 percent of the Canadian workforce and a little less at Wal-Mart. They’re focused on duty, they tend to be loyal to the company throughout their career, changing companies only one to two times at most,” she said.
“While this group plays an important role in our office and in our stores today, we’re really not focused on them because it’s such a small segment,” she said.
— The Baby Boomers: She said they were born between 1946 and 1964. They make up about 45 percent of the overall workforce, and represent the largest segment of the workforce in Wal-Mart.
“They are competitive, work is their No. 1 priority and they strive to achieve,” she said. “They were the first to learn about layoffs during their careers and as a result they will change companies about two to three times in their career.”
“As they age, because they focus so much on work, they are looking for more work-life flexibility,” she said. “If we can leverage that, that need for balance, we can grow this segment of our work force.”
— The Gen X’ers: “They were born between 1965 and 1976,” she said. “They make up a quarter of the overall workforce in Canada and much less at Wal-Mart.”
“They grew up in families where both parents worked,” she said. “This group is expected to change companies eight to ten times in their career. It’s not a group that we’re focusing aggressively on.”
— The Millennials: “The newest generation, however, working in our stores, the millennials, born 1977 to 2000, is a target segment for us,” she said. “They make up 22 percent of the general workforce, and they are the fastest growing segment of our workforce in Wal-Mart.”
“The millennials are already familiar with our company, they shopped our stores with their parents, as they moved out to go to school, and today as they begin to set up their homes,” she said.
“They were raised in the most child-centric period in history. And thanks to the boomers, they were coached over dinner on how to negotiate for jobs and salaries. Tough group. They’re bright, keen and they need to be stimulated and involved in everything.”
“They have short attention spans. They don’t respond to working for a boss, but they do respond to working for a leader and unless they are engaged, they are expected to change companies 19 times in their careers.”
To try to get Baby Boomers and Millennials to consider Wal-Mart, she said the retailer is honing in on their wants:
–A supportive manager
–To work for a company that values environmental sustainability
So which of these groups do you fall under and would you consider working for Wal-Mart?