Generational Differences in Employer Preferences: Using the Employer Attractiveness Scale in The Netherlands
MetadataShow full item record
This study aimed to investigate whether different generational groups, in specific Millennials (Generation Y), differ from their preceding generations (Baby Boomers and Generation X) in their employer preferences and whether this could be investigated by a translated, Dutch version of the Employer Attractiveness Scale (EmpAt) (Berthon, Ewing, & Hah, 2005). This EmpAt consists of five values: Interest, Social, Economic, Development, and Application Value. There seems to be no consensus in literature about whether there are differences between generations and their employer preferences. To be able to fill the gap of a relatively large group of retiring employees, for employers, it is important to know how to attract scarce and younger employees. This study employed a cross-sectional and questionnaire survey design. Participants were recruited using convenience sampling and were all employees of a Dutch Regional Community College. In total, there were 177 participants (120 women, 57 men, Mage = 47.2 years, age range: 24 – 66 years). The participants were classified in three groups: Baby Boomers (n = 55), Generation X (n = 72), and Generation Y (n = 50). These participants were asked to fill in the Dutch EmpAt, measured on a five-point Likert scale, ranging 1 (very unimportant) to 5 (very important). The original five factors of the EmpAt did not similarly arise in the Dutch EmpAt. Furthermore, only Development Value was significantly more important for Generation Y than for Baby Boomers. The effect of Age on Economic Value was positively moderated by Social, Development, and Application Value and the effect of Age on Interest Value was positively moderated by Development Value. These findings add to the growing body of literature that contradicts current popular literature suggesting generational differences with regard to employer preferences exist. This different perspective might shed light on an ongoing discussion regarding generational differences between empirical research and a more theoretical point of view.