The Generation Gap: Hiring Workers Across the Age Spectrum

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The Generation Gap: Hiring Workers Across the Age Spectrum

  • July 29th, 2015
  • CategoriesBlog

Over the past several years, there’s been a lot of debate about the job market in terms of young folks and old. Some news sources argue that older people are taking job opportunities away from young professionals. The opposition holds that youth push out their senior colleagues as they step into new roles.

Whether or not either of these notions is true, it is clear that the workforce is comprised of individuals of all ages, from young people fresh out of their education to older citizens who are looking towards retirement. While the law (as well as kindness and basic equality) demands that hiring managers consider each individual fairly, employing based on skills, talents, and experience, there are pros and cons of hiring workers on either end of the age spectrum.

The Advantages of Hiring Young Professionals

There are many positive outcomes when it comes to employing candidates just starting out in their career. Youth tend to have energy and enthusiasm, and may also possess a lot of passion for their given field. This can bring a sense of rejuvenation and excitement to a workplace. Many young people are eager to learn and will prove dedicated employees ready to give their all.

Younger professionals are often much more comfortable with technology, having grown up alongside it as millenials. For an employer, this can translate to much less time spent in training. Young employees typically pick up technology-related skills and processes quicker, which can lead to increased productivity.

In addition, when hiring young professionals, organisations have the chance to mold their work habits from the start. This is a simple way to create a highly-skilled, loyal employee who will hopefully remain with your company for years.

Challenges Associated With Employing Younger Workers

There are also some cons with regards to youthful professionals. Many workers fresh to the career field have overblown expectations when it comes to work. Younger staff members might expect more benefits, a higher degree of flexibility in their schedule, or unusual perks that some businesses have begun to offer employees.

Working with younger folks may come with a better grasp of technology, but alongside this comes inexperience in terms of business, communication, and more. This may result in “needier” employees who require more guidance and direction when it comes to the basics.

Lastly, some research suggests that young people are not as motivated or devoted as their older counterparts, and may be much more likely to “jump ship” and head for new employment within a few short years.

The Pros of Employing Older, Seasoned Workers

There are numerous benefits to hiring workers of a certain age. The key advantage relates to experience. Older workers nearly always have a large resume of experience under their belt, having worked in their industry for many years. Even if they are new to your industry, older workers have been employed and already developed many of the vital skills needed in all jobs.

Older professionals are known for possessing a tremendous work ethic. Past generations had a different experience than many millenials who are now entering the workforce, which equips them with a more traditional brand of attitude and dogged determination.

As well, older professionals tend to be more confident and self-assured (as wisdom comes with age). This leads to better, more assertive and clear communication. It also suggests that these employees are in it for the long haul and less likely to leave their position and seek new employment elsewhere.

Disadvantages of Hiring Older Professionals

Unlike younger workers, older folks have not grown up around the advanced technology we see today. This does not necessarily mean they don’t have a good understanding of it, but it is somewhat less likely. This is a disadvantage because it may require more time spent in training.

An older professional might not share the same enthusiasm and energy as a younger worker. They also are more likely to have additional responsibilities such as a mortgage and a family to support, making their schedules less flexible than childless millenial workers.

Finally, older employees, because they do possess increased experience and skills, may demand a higher salary. This could be a challenge for a business seeking to hire an entry-level worker at an entry-level pay rate.

Finding Excellent Candidates

One thing is certain: fantastic employees come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Because of this, what hiring managers must consider is skills, experience, goals, and attitude. Looking for great candidates? Contact us today at On Line Recruitment and Labour Hire for more information on long term and temporary recruitment and labour hire options.

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