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As teams at work become more diverse, how can I evaluate if candidates are adaptable and can work well with a multigenerational team?


How important is collaboration in the workplace? Teams who work together to solve organizational problems find opportunities to innovate, use resources efficiently, meet goals, and communicate better. 

But what happens when the team is composed of diverse individuals from multiple generations? We are now seeing the widest age diversity in the workforce.  As each generation brings with it their own leadership style, characteristics, values, work and life experiences, some friction is expected that affects workplace collaboration. 

Thus, companies have to find candidates that would thrive well in a multigenerational workforce to meet business goals. 

A multigenerational workforce is a team composed of several generations ( i.e. Traditionalist or the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials or  Generation Y, and Generation Z) that work together towards a common business goal. 

What are the benefits of a multigenerational team? 

  • Each generation brings with it their unique education, work experience, skills and unique perspectives. This is beneficial when best practices are shared and the workplace has a collaborative environment. 

  • Nowadays, there is a huge appreciation for diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. When workers are appreciated and valued regardless of the generation they belong to, they become more motivated to work and contribute to team success. 

  • It encourages workforce engagement and increased productivity as the individual generation’s strengths are utilized. This inspires team members to continue to innovate and grow in their individual skills so they can contribute to the group. 

Here are general collaborative interview questions. 

  • What was the most challenging group that you have had to collaborate with? Describe how you were able to handle the situation? What was the result?  

This question gives the hiring team insight into the candidates ability to form relationships and handle team dynamics. When they have prior experience in collaborating with people from other generations, they show potential in contributing to team success and productivity. 

On the other hand, when their attitude towards relationship-building with multiple generations is rigid, they might not fit a collaborative team culture.

  • Have you ever experienced being part of a team where some members of the team did not work well together because of communication styles, work preferences or even generational differences?  How did you resolve the situation? 

This is an important aspect to explore with a candidate because it shows you how well they understand the importance of being adaptable when working with a multigenerational team. 

It also gives you an idea of their communication skills. They have the opportunity to think about how to bridge generational differences and work towards collaboration. 

  • Have you had an experience of working with a person from a different generation? Were there instances that you had to adjust your communication style to collaborate with them better? What insights did you get from that situation? 

This question will give you a glimpse on the candidate’s emotional intelligence and their ability to resolve potential conflict over communication. Those who are able to reflect and deliver what they learned from these situations show readiness to collaborate with people from other generations. 

The ability to collaborate is a crucial competency for a successful team. In addition, the varying skills, education, perspectives, and work experience that different generations bring should be considered an asset when building a multigenerational team. Thus, with the right strategies, the hiring team will be able to attract the right candidates who are open to collaborative work!

How do you find medical field top talent today? Join the many companies that us with their recruitment needs. 

As teams at work become more diverse, how can I evaluate if candidates are adaptable and can work well with a multigenerational team?
Brandon Resasco