“Old minds have the power to create history; young minds have the power to change the history.” — Dr.P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar
A common question that employers tend to encounter is, what are the benefits of hiring older people and the priceless contributions of younger generations?
While young employees bring tremendous potential and new ideas to the table, hiring older people proves to be extremely beneficial for businesses owing to their wisdom and a seasoned approach to business.
The priceless contributions of the younger generation are enhanced and manifold when there is a two-way flow of ideas.
“Nothing we do is more important than hiring people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies.” — Lawrence Bossidy
Most workplaces are ripe with the age bias but what they don’t realize is that they are majorly missing out by choosing to hire employees of a particular age-group only.
There is a lot that the older generation can teach the younger generation; similarly, the younger generation is bubbling with unparalleled potential and ideas which can help the more senior employees tremendously.
Hiring More Senior People
I have always been very keen on hiring older people along with younger employees, as both groups bring about significant and unique elements to the table.
I observed the practical manifestation of this idea while I was setting up my manufacturing business in the Middle East.
The workers over the age of fifty had low energy levels, and they could work only for a few hours, which by the way were way lesser than the younger employees.
But the younger employees weren’t as familiar with the machinery as the older ones, they needed a lot of training, and there was a need for constant supervision.
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” — Steve Jobs
I came up with a simple solution: I promoted the older employees to positions of supervisors, managers, and assigned them roles of mentoring. Now, my workplace had the best of both worlds!
The more senior employees were always there to guide the younger ones and train them while the younger employees brought along with the energy, enthusiasm, and new ideas.
It is common knowledge that young employees are up to date on the latest trends and are well-adapted to technology. They are also paid lesser, as they have the little-to-no experience, which makes them the ideal employees.
So, our hiring machinery has always encouraged the hiring of employees of the younger generation and strongly opposed the idea of hiring older people.
Their argument being, older people, are paid more to do the work that younger people can do more efficiently.
However, there’s more to the story.
The Power of the Younger Generation Contribution
While the younger generation brings a lot of priceless contributions along with them, they can in no way possess the wisdom and cunning that years and years of experience teach by harnessing what the Digital Workforce offers in this era.
Older people can learn new trends and come at par with handling technology, but the younger generation cannot top their expertise and work ethic.
Curiosity is what drives people to learn new skills regardless of their age.
So, acquiring knowledge regarding technology and the latest trends is not hindered by age because it provides a level field for everyone who is intellectually engaged.
The key to the success of any organization, hence, does not rely on recruiting fresh talent only. Instead, it depends on striking a balance — a balance that ensures a cohesive workforce that is cognitively diverse and is driven by passion and curiosity alike.
“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was, and still is, the most important thing we do.” — Marc Benioff.
Bi-directional Flow of Ideas
The most considerable benefit of having a diverse workforce is that you get to witness this remarkable bi-directional flow of ideas between the different generations.
Each group brings something unique to the table and learns something entirely new from the other party.
While the enthusiasm, new ideas, and technological advancement of the younger generation are vital for an organization’s success, one simply cannot overlook the importance of the wisdom and expertise that the older employees bring along with them.
“Old people have wisdom but not energy; young people have energy but not wisdom; energy and wisdom must be in the same body to create a much better civilization! To do this, we will either give energy to the old, or we will give wisdom to the young, and for now, the latter seems a more plausible action!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan
Senior People Can Teach the Younger Generation
The more seasoned employees have mastered the art of business dealings- they know when to press a subject matter, when to withdraw from an arrangement, what demands to accept, and what demands to put forward.
This cunning and the ability to assess the situation quickly and handle it effectively comes from years of on-ground experience.
This has a two-fold benefit for the organization:
First, they are almost always able to strike deals with clients effectively, and second, they are live examples to learn from for the younger employees.
“Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.” — Amrita Sahasrabudhe
Older Employees Have a Better Work-life Balance
Older people have a better work-life balance. If they have kids, the chances are that they are already in college and hence don’t need any looking after.
They have remained in the business for quite a while, so they have devised a fool-proof mechanism that allows them to perform well at work as well have quality family time.
As opposed to this, the younger generation is just starting. They have new families and young children to take care of while juggling work.
Now having a work environment with both older and younger people allows each party to gain something. The younger generation can learn to strike that work-life balance by closely observing the more senior employees.
In comparison, the older employees can help to alleviate some of the problems or at least get sensitized about the hurdles that the younger generation might be facing owing to their hectic family and work life.
Older Employees Can Teach the Art of Financial Expertise to Their Younger Colleagues
A study carried out by the Harvard Business Review revealed that older people could share their insights regarding financial management to the young.
You either learn through your mistakes, or you may seek advice from your seniors who were in your shoes a few years ago and committed the same financial errors that you are about to commit.
A company’s success lies in the contentment of its employees!
Younger People Can Share Their Marketing Insights with the Older Generation
Today, an average 20-something year old has a broader network than that of a 60-year-old.
Simply, through the internet!
The younger generation has a much more comprehensive network, and their networking skills are more refined than ever.
They are energetic, they are quick to form diverse friendships, and most importantly, they are the marketing gurus.
“Traditional marketing and advertising are telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.” — Robert Rose
The internet has altered the makeup of marketing. Traditional forms of marketing have been replaced by the quicker and more efficient digital marketing strategies which can appeal to more extensive and diverse audiences.
Digital marketing is also cost-effective, and hence all businesses are shifting towards it.
It is imperative to have younger employees on board who can share insights about digital marketing tactics, creative campaigns, and help to design a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Young Talents Bring in Fresh Perspectives
It is no secret than younger employees are eager to learn, they are more energetic, and they bring a fresh perspective to the table.
At the same time, the old rules of business are still fundamental to stay relevant and up-to-date with the modern advances in the business world. And that is precisely what younger people bring along with them.
Not only does their enthusiasm serves as a breath of fresh air for the company, but also their ideas help businesses stay on top with the rapidly evolving trends.
Building a Diverse Workforce is Vital for an Organization’s Success
“Creating and managing a diverse workforce is a process, not a destination.” — R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr.
Bringing new talent and fresh minds in the field will help your organization attain a unique perspective, get at par with the rapidly changing dynamics of today’s business world and build a workforce that is enthusiastic, energetic, and ready to learn more.
However, it is equally important to hire seasoned, well-experienced individuals at positions that harness their expertise to the fullest. Older employees can assume the roles of consultants, supervisors, and managers where they can share their insights and guide the younger employees not only in work matters but also help them develop sound financial insights and strike a work-life balance.
The success of an organization depends solely on the performance of its employees. As an employer, it is essential to know precisely what kind of employees your organization needs and what roles you need to assign them to harness their potential and expertise to the fullest.
The evolution of the human race from the stone-age to the 21st century and beyond is the result of a cumulative effort of minds belonging to all age groups, ethnicities, and genders.