Hiring the right human resources is an extremely important part of any job because, without the right workforce, your startup is likely to fail. It is important that entrepreneurs understand solely hiring from and around their age group can be misleading and might be the cause of any startup failure. There is the need to integrate your workforce, to ensure that it is diverse and balanced. An imbalance will most likely work against you and therefore, here is why including the older generation in your payroll could be one of the best decisions you will make as an entrepreneur.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Experience and skill
There is an old saying that states, “experience is the best teacher,” It is arguable but it holds some truth. An older employee’s skill and experience are invaluable. These means that ultimately one cuts costs on training and in some industries, it takes decades before one acquires the necessary expertise which means that a startup will be investing in training. New entrepreneurs have to prioritize and this means that anything that can cut costs is welcome and through hiring skilled experts, you have one less problem. The type of industry does not matter as even those that require minimal skills, older employees have been seen to outperform the rest.
Loyal and focused
Loyalty, in this case, can be seen with how long they stick with one job. Older employees are seen to stay at one job for longer most likely because they have families or lifelong commitments and hence moving for them is not an easy option. This is not the case for the younger folk as they are adventurous, free-spirited and most importantly not tied down geographically and hence can easily switch jobs up anytime. An employer should be focused on who they can easily retain because you cannot keep hiring and rehiring. The hiring cycle is time and money consuming. Studies have shown that older employees are more likely to take more off days than their counterparts.
Networks and Branding
Apart from their experience, older employees have access to networks that would otherwise not be available. Through this, it is easy to get new clients or even investors. When customers are purchasing a service or product the experience matters and it determines if they will come back. This can be as simple as them serving the people that fall under their age group, this way your potential client feels that they are understood and they are in better hands. Different people derive their safety from various means but the older generation is more at peace when dealing with someone around their own age as they trust their judgment and expertise.
The above key points are the most important to young entrepreneur however, the list is endless. Older employees have been seen to portray a better work ethic, patience, and honesty in their jobs. Human resources shuold try and refrain from being stereotypical with the job but the maturity showcased plus the excellent organizational skills are seen on older employees cannot be ignored. Excellent communication skills among others as illustrated have been true for these employees.
Why older employees might not work for young entrepreneurs
Disinterest in Technology
It is no secret that millennial employees are more likely to pick up and understand new technology. Older employees have been seen to have a disregard and disinterest in technology which means a corporation that heavily reliant on technology or that which keeps updating their tech will struggle with these employees.
The point I made above on loyalty is tested here. Older employees are more likely to be rigid which becomes a major drawback, for example, they prefer their stability and safety net of wanting to stay in one place so they are geographically immobile hence cannot easily relocate to say new corporate branches even when they are most suited for the job. They are also set in most of their ways and having them unlearn their ways becomes a daunting task.
It is true that diversity is the way forward as the entrepreneur focuses on ensuring this happens, the dynamics of age cannot be ignored. Your workforce should be inclusive as even different age groups bring different perspectives which are a valuable asset to any startup that wants to stand the test of time.
Caroline Mumbe is passionate about anything money related. She is an entrepreneur and writer who enjoys simplifying financial concepts and making sure people lead their best financial lives. She reads a lot and knows the best coffee joints in Nairobi.