There has been some confusion among the workplace and job seekers on whether companies will, or should, hire young individuals right out of college or hire/keep the older, more experienced employee. Being a senior in college, my worry of getting hired right after graduation has skyrocketed. Why would businesses hire a freshly graduated job seeker when they could have a more experienced one? If I were up against a more experienced worker that is currently unemployed, would they even consider me? Naturally, instead of looking at the positives I looked toward the negatives first.
The older workforce would tell you that younger workers are generally lazier than their more experienced peers. They are constantly attached to their phones and social media sites. Erica Tevis owner of littlethingsfavors and LittleThingsBaby.com said, “From my experience hiring younger individuals, they don’t take the job as seriously as older individuals do – whether they take liberties such as coming in late or asking to leave early – to coming into the job hungover from a night of partying – to continually texting and using their own social media during work hours.“
Recent graduates and younger employees often come into a job with a mindset of changing the rules and attempt to manipulate the situation to suit their own needs. Many lack the maturity to adapt to the way that corporate America works. The result, more job hoppers. Whats worse, companies are investing time, money, and resources to train these people who ultimately have a higher turnover rate than their more experienced peers. Sandra Holtzman, president and founder of Holtzman communications LLC states, “Additionally, in a small business I do not have time to train or teach someone fresh out of school. Someone fresh out of school is often still dealing with learning how to work in a business environment in addition to having to learn the job.”
Even though hiring younger job seekers is often perceived as challenging, I was put at ease when discovering that “older” or more experienced employees are not so perfect either. “People with more experience tend to have a lot of bad habits, and in a corporation where one has systems put in place, young people are much easier to mold and tend to learn much faster.” stated Alexander Cross, owner of a Law-firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is often difficult to break these habits if one already has them programmed into their routine. More experienced people tend to be stuck in their ways and adjusting in a new working environment could be difficult.
We’ve always heard that the college you attend, the degree you earn, and what you do with that really matters. “Education and experience might be a tipping point in granting an interview – but as far as hiring, they are not as important.” said Corey Leff, CEO and Founder of spendLO. She then goes on to say “Being a small business, it is important that everyone be able to interact well together and work well as a team. Personality and fit within the goals of our company are crucial.” At the end of the day, it’s ultimately up to the hiring manager to determine what’s important, what’s not, and who’s the best fit for the company.
Maturity? Reliability? Does it matter? Joseph Sherman, Editor and Social Media Manager said “Companies that overlook older employees because of their age may be losing years of experience and wisdom.” Experienced workers are looking to build a “career” with one company, rather than jump around between them. Also, I have found that they are more committed to tasks and are less likely to take off or show up late. “Unlike 20-somethings that have their eye on the door and the next rung up, experienced executive assistants (once called secretaries) are looking more for security and fulfilling work.” said Julie D. Taylor, owner of a PR firm.
So what are the benefits of looking towards a younger job seeker? Recent college grads are typically enthusiastic about starting a new chapter in their lives. They are entering the workforce on a mission to change the world. Along with constantly offering up new ideas, being well versed in the latest technologies and trends, and passionate about taking on new challenges, today’s college graduate can be a huge asset to a company. Another advantage of hiring a younger candidate is their vast knowledge in social media. My generation truly understands the power behind social networking and what it can do for a company. We can uncover what methods are not being utilized, how to engage better with a younger audience, and the details behind the technology. Hire a newbie today:)
And the controversy goes on. What makes college graduates and other job seekers so frustrated and confused? The best answer: not having any answers. Sure, the older workforce can tout “experience”, but the younger generation can tout “youth perspective” and together we can provide true balance to the workplace. Mrs. Shilonda Downing, business owner, agreed saying, “ I think that both offer key elements for a successful team and each can learn from the other. If you have a company that is one sided, you’re truly missing out on opportunities to grow and advance your business.”
So for all the college graduates out there who are worried you won’t get hired, stop worrying and stay focused. Companies are less concerned about age and more interested in your ability to fit into their corporate culture with good work ethic, personality, and values. Stick with me, and you’re golden!
Written By: Dana Carroll