ORLANDO, Fla. - To attract Gen Xers, businesses should think of the recruitment process as marketing and they should market their organization as a brand, said Will Ruch, managing partner for Hughes, Ruch & Murphy of Milwaukee, Wis. A company that maintains a distinct personality will be viewed favorably, Ruch said. To appeal to Gen Xers, a company must promise both meaningful employment and money, he said.

Ruch spoke at the Investment Company Institute's operations conference here last week. Hughes, Ruch & Murphy, a marketing, communications and advertising firm, conducted research on generational recruiting and retention through surveys, focus groups and interviews with more than 1,000 Gen X workers and baby boomer managers, Ruch said.

Companies are faced with several challenges in recruiting and retaining employees, Ruch said. These challenges include low unemployment, generational differences within workplaces and a shortage of potential Gen X employees, Ruch said. As a result of the shortage of Gen X candidates, businesses are struggling to fill mid-level positions, according to Ruch. Gen X is the generation born between 1966 and 1979.

To attract and retain Gen X employees, Ruch also recommended adopting generational marketing and education practices, seeking continuous feedback from all employees and developing a retention policy.

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