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If you are not hiring over fifty I question your judgement

Recently the topic of being over fifty and the current job market has been brought up in conversations. Being over fifty and at times staring the job market in the face I find the reasons for not hiring over fifty to be specious at best. If a company is not able to look at the body of work an over fifty would bring to their job and the "value" added of experience and maturity, then I make the case they are not able to evaluate potential employees period. I hear the generic case of over fifty wants too much money. My question to HR is, did you bother to ask, did you offer some other form of compensation or have you just rejected their application based on age. The young versus old comparison and are you sure hiring that younger at a lower salary or wage is cheaper. Think about where an over fifty is at in their career. They have fought the battles of trying to get ahead in the corporate world and are ready to get out of the nonsensical climbing the corporate ladder and or working only for money. Many fifty-somethings are looking for a place to land to end their working career. Contrast that with hiring young guns who, on average, change jobs every three to five years and less looking to climb the corporate ladder or job hop looking for the highest wages. Consider the training costs involved if your company is filled with corporate climbers and job hoppers with few long term employees. Is it more cost-effective to hire the employee who will stay the course for the company or continuously train new employees? Not much will engender my disgust quicker than a company with over fifty management directing HR to place a priority on hiring younger job applicants because of mythical direct cost savings to the company rather than applicants being evaluated on the value they can bring to the company. A perceived direct money cost of an employee is a short-sighted way of managing a companies future. I can tell you with direct experience how disruptive, for instance, working with a new purchasing person every year or two is. In many cases, the supplier is as valuable in training new purchasing personnel as the company itself. This new hire training is hard on supplier relationships. It is very disruptive for the supply chain not to have an experienced guiding hand running the purchasing department. I have seen the same supplier issues get resolved only to have them pop up every few years, problems that should have been solved, but because of lack of continuity are not. Any HR department that cannot see the value in a healthy mix of experience with youthful exuberance is an HR department that is not doing its job. It takes both to keep a company on a steady course. I would much rather have a factory floor with old hands showing the new hires how to keep the products flowing with a minimum of issues. As Simon Sinek says "If you don't know people, you don't know business".

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