The Pros and Cons of Hiring Old vs. Young Employees

October 3rd, 2014 by David Rothschild Leave a reply »

old vs youngAs a busy hiring manager who needs to be able to quickly assess the capabilities of applicants and determine how well they might fit in your organization, how does the age of potential recruits figure into your decision making process?

Issues of talent, enthusiasm, expertise, wisdom, judgment and working habits all come into play as you consider each potential recruit. Of course, you don’t want to get into trouble by favoring one applicant over another based just on his or her apparent age. However, there are some pros and cons of hiring old versus young employees that you will want to keep in mind.

Young Blood and Exuberance

With youth comes excitement and exuberance, and enthusiastic new employees are revved up, looking for challenges and a chance to prove themselves, noted a recent post at Fast Company.

Younger workers typically are more accustomed to working with technology, having used it all their adult lives, often becoming adept during their formative youthful years. This means you may not have to spend as much time training them compared to more seasoned workers.

When you hire younger workers, you also have an opportunity mold them from the start instead of taking time to weed out the bad habits that some older employees develop.

However, younger workers may seem to be less vested overall with their jobs, wanting to leave once they have put in their hours for the day, compared to older workers who have more experience staying later to finish something because they are motivated by a sense of pride, according to a recent article posted at Entrepreneur.

Older, Wiser and Experienced

It’s very likely that older employees will behave more responsibly, having learned through hard work and experience what happens when you fail to show up on time, as well as the consequences of being careless when checking details on a project.

One negative aspect to hiring older workers is that they will often expect higher salaries than younger workers because of their experience and expertise. While the cost is often justified, your organization may prefer to hire greener workers for less and then spend more time in training.

The maturity and (hopefully) wisdom that comes with older workers is beneficial not just because of what they do themselves each day to boost your bottom line, but also the examples they can set for younger workers on your payroll, noted Entrepreneur. The magazine also cited the fact that older workers are typically better at communicating (and knowing when not to speak) because of their advanced understanding of office politics.

As long as you continue to be honest in your assessments of candidates and steer clear of discriminating against potential hires for being “too young” or “too old,” you can help build a better workforce at your organization when you pay attention to the pros and cons of hiring old versus young employees.

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