Friday, September 6, 2013

Should an organization hire youth or experience?

Simply put the answer is it depends; neither is the correct answer. Both youth and experience have a place in the world. This question is asked of me often in my field of expertise and it really depends on the organization’s needs.  Finding the right person for a position is the key.  Personality, energy, fit into the corporate culture with the right mix of experience and qualifications or maybe experience is not the concern as they can be taught.

Some organizations think that hiring youth when it comes to IT jobs is the way to go.  Again, it all comes down to experience, attitude, personality and corporate fit.  I do find for myself that I can give an IT issue to my teen and she figures it out quicker and without the same level of frustration that I have – but IT doesn’t interest me the way it does her. 

Experience comes with longevity in an area of expertise and training.  Someone fresh out of school would not have the same level of expertise that a twenty year veteran would have in the field.  But, the question comes down to what are your needs, what does the position require of an individual as far as experience, technology, productivity expectations, competencies, personality, attitude and corporate fit.  If there is a young person who can meet the requirements of the job or that you can train to do the job the way you want it done – why over look them!  Alternately, if there is someone with experience who can do the job – why over look them! 

Energy is often associated with youth; this is stereotyping. Being hard working or lazy has little to do with age, but rather attitude.  I know many older people who have more energy or drive to work than some younger people and vice-versa.  It again depends on the individual. 

There are good arguments for both sides with equal weight.  So to answer the question – it really does depend on the organization’s needs –short term as well as long term.  This is where the organizations miss the mark – what are the long term goals for the organization and the positions within the organization? 

Have you completed an HR Audit of the positions in the organization to identify change required in order for the organization to grow productively?  Many of you small or large, will probably say no I don’t have time or no why would we!  So I ask: “How important is growth within your organization (profitability)?”  If you answered extremely important, then an assessment of your organizations HR requirements needs to be addressed.

Lynne Bard, BA (Honours), C.H.R.P., CES

Human Resources, Safety & Risk Management Experts
Taking the Complexity out of Compliance
Beyond Rewards Inc.
Phone: 519-821-7440
Cell: 519-830-7480

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