The Future of the Accounting Workforce
“Firms who are hiring new accountants or accounting majors have to understand where the newer generations are “coming from,” as a Boomer (born 1946-1964) might say, to target a style that will bring out the next generation’s (the Millennial Generation’s) strengths and maximize their effectiveness. This involves discarding biases and pre-conceived notions, and enjoying our generational differences—and similarities!
Millennial workers grew up in a technology-driven world. As a result, the way we do business has changed dramatically over the last 2-3 decades. As a result, they often operate under different perspectives than older workers do. Companies across North America that recognize that the differentiator is their people will emerge as winners in the battle for talent. They’ll design specific techniques for recruiting, managing, motivating, and retaining them.
A notable demographic shift will begin to occur in 2011 when the oldest Baby Boomers (b. 1946) hit the United States’ legal retirement age of 65. As Boomers begin retiring, members of Generation X will take roles in middle and upper management. Millennials will take positions in the workforce. This process has already begun since some members of Millennials in their late 20s.
Other scenarios that will become commonplace will include
- Experienced Boomers reporting to Millennials
- Members of all three generations working side-by-side on teams
- Millennials calling on Gen X clients
And, all this is going to happen while three generations continue the process of finding a way to get along in an uncertain workplace.
This is made all the more interesting given the gap between these two generations: Gen Xers complain that the Millennials are indulged, self-absorbed and overly optimistic, while Millennials charge that Gen Xers are cynical, aloof and don’t appreciate fresh ideas and idealism….”