Who Should You Hire – Old or Young?

For most parts of the globe, the economy is in troubled waters. Companies are folding up and the ones with employees are either downsizing or laying people off. There are more qualified young people in our world today than there are jobs. Perhaps the unnecessary wars we have fought in the last two decades hasn’t done enough damage to reduce the global population.

On the other hand, advances in science has increased life expectancy for most developed nations. Yes, there seem to be an exacerbation in the number of diagnosed diseases but the sheer diagnoses itself opens the road for early detection, management and sometimes cure. What this means, is that people tend to live longer than they did way back then. More and more young-at-heart retirees are rekitting and returning to the job market.

Yes, most laid-off workers have returned to school to learn new trades. This decreases the chances of younger people landing that job of their dreams. Most job adverts require more than paper qualification, they want experience. The young are qualified, even tech savvy, but they usually come short on the experience side. Medical issues apart, older and experienced workers are likely to fit into a work environment better than their restless younger counterparts. Experience apart, older job seekers have reasons to stay on the job and to remain loyal. Most of them have a family to look after, they have mortgages or other financial commitments to meet. Sitting down in limbo is not an option. The old cannot afford to be out of work for long. The stakes are just too high.

When it comes to making a choice on who to hire, there may be other considerations depending on the focus of the employer. Older workers might be at a disadvantage when it comes to mobility. Am not talking about driving the Rolls Royce or the Ducati. Some job positions come with lots of travels. People with extra social baggage such as a wife and young children hardly ever want to be out of town for a long time. For the young, this is an opportunity they hardly want to miss. They are upwardly mobile, could put all that they possess literally on a backpack within minutes and be gone for days, months or even years. 

Job openings that people build careers on are not likely to be in their backyards. Developing economies are always on the lookout for yuppies to inspire and help build capacity. Sometimes they hire the old guns, but in most cases, they prefer young blood. The young blood is not usually just a short term contract employee, sometimes they are so fired up they discover that they have hit a goldmine in another land. So, after their contract, they stay back to explore their new environment and to test their skills and guts on running private businesses. They usually leverage on the contacts they’ve made in the duration of their contracts. The older person is usually in a hurry to leave town;  return to familiar terrain and to friends and family.

The choice of who to hire is entirely that of the employer. When it comes to jobs, once the applicants were the brides. The economy has caused a gender operation and the employer is the new bride being wooed by many suitors. 

Next week, we would be looking at dressing to kill that interview.



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