Disadvantages of Hiring Younger Employees : Under30CEO Disadvantages of Hiring Younger Employees : Under30CEO
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Disadvantages of Hiring Younger Employees

| February 19, 2013 | 9 Comments

Hiring Young EmployeesMany people mistakenly believe that it is preferable to hire younger workers over their more seasoned colleagues. They believe younger workers are more energetic and are more likely to bring fresh ideas to the table. I am a 20-something-year-old entrepreneur and have found that many people think very highly of younger professionals; however, I think they give us too much credit. While younger workers bring a number of benefits to the table, there are also some disadvantages to hiring them. Here are some reasons a younger employee may not be the ideal employee for you.

Lack of Experience

Most managers and entrepreneurs look up to Mark Zuckerburg and other entrepreneurs who launched their businesses in their 20s. They have come to believe younger workers are more likely to have brilliant ideas. They tend to hire younger workers because they believe they can transform their workplace for the better.

However, young geniuses like Zuckerberg tend to be the exception more often than the rule. I have worked with many other young professionals and saw many of their ideas fail to solve the problems they sought to tackle. I will admit I am one of them.

Younger workers can sometimes harness their energy to propel the organization forward; however, they usually lack both the professional and life experience needed to make a positive change. Older workers have this experience and are often unappreciated assets for many businesses.

They Can Lack Direction

Younger workers often struggle to move forward in a consistent direction. I have had two business partners who were 24 when we started working together. They were both knowledgeable in their fields and convinced companies and wealthy individuals to invest in them.

In spite of their knowledge and bright ideas, they were unable to make their visions come to fruition. The problem was they constantly changed their minds and were unable to move the business forward in a consistent direction. I am now working with a couple of older entrepreneurs who have that consistency. I would rather hire an employee who understands what he or she needs to do and follows through with their promises.

They Tend to Be More Narcissistic

I have to admit many people in my generation (myself included) tend to be more narcissistic than our older colleagues. I don’t feel that narcissism is necessarily a bad thing. People with this trait are not usually selfish or mean-spirited; however, they do tend to be overly convinced of their own abilities.

Younger workers tend to have a harder time recognizing organizational boundaries or following the instructions of their boss. They are often bitter they are the ones who have to take direction from someone else. Admittedly, this is why I chose to become an entrepreneur instead of accepting a 9-5 job somewhere else. I wouldn’t hire someone like me because they would probably be more stubborn and managers may find it more difficult to get their respect.

Many older workers tend to have more reverence for the traditional workplace. I worked in other jobs in college and high school and found that the older workers tended to be most loyal.

Create a Diversified Workforce

There are a number of benefits to hiring both younger and older employees. My piece has focused primarily on the drawbacks of hiring younger workers, but that is only because they are usually more desirable to entrepreneurs and hiring managers. You should recognize the benefits that both younger and older employees bring to the table and try to create a diversified workforce. Don’t limit yourself to hiring younger employees.

Kalen is a business writer. He also has an MBA from Clark University and suggests that other people seek online MBA degree programs if they want to learn more about business.

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  • Kate

    Kalen Smith says in regards to people thinking highly of young professionals: “I think they give us too much credit.” This guy is not one of ‘us’ – I looked him up, he’s like 29 or 30 years old. This article could make it harder for ‘us’ (real, hard-working, young professionals ages 22 – 25) to get jobs! As if it isn’t hard enough already! Everyone at my agency is ages 21 – 31 and each team member provides valuable ideas as well as careful, thought-out execution. My honest opinion is that Kalen can’t get a job because the younger, clever, will-work-as-hard-as-possible-to-prove-ourselves crowd is snagging all of the jobs he’s applying for, so he wrote this article in hopes of hindering his younger competition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/briellaarion Melissa Krivachek

    I highly disagree with this article because of it’s placement. This is under30ceo.com where ambitious, driven, young go-getters come to get advice to make their business successful. A piece of paper AKA degree isn’t worth much if you don’t take action. Don’t get me wrong a MBA is great thing to have, but isn’t necessarily helpful when hiring Gen Y. In my opinion Kalen may lack confidence, which is why this article was posted. Why shouldn’t we take credit where credit is due? The one sentence that sticks out is “they usually lack both the professional and life experience needed to make positive change.” Working with 20-35 year old executives/entrepreneurs myself I highly DISAGREE Gen Y takes it upon themselves to make a positive change, travel, create success, and make a difference in others lives and their communities. Ex: Matt & Jared from Under30Media providing tools to get clarity, and direction in business/life. Twitter & FaceBook Founders also in their 20′s, My entire team (7 of us) is in their 20′s and their isn’t a single one of us that doesn’t make a difference, that doesn’t pay it forward, that doesn’t engage in the highest levels of learning, and that isn’t ambitious, goal driven, and LOVE what we do. If you wouldn’t hire yourself you probably have work to do on yourself ;)

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O’Toole

    Thanks for the comment Melissa. We published it because it is something that many people agree with. We didn’t publish it because we necassarily agree with it but we wanted to see the reaction and show both sides of the story.

    Thanks again for the comment fighting for younger employees!

  • http://tryecruit.com/ Evan M Rose

    I have to say I agree with Melissa. This is weak.

    Yes, younger, inexperienced employees will likely have shortcomings like…inexperience.

    Of course having a one-sided hiring strategy like “hire young people at all costs because it sounds dynamic and bold!!!” is foolish.

    Employers need to strive to have a mix of experienced and inexperienced employees to create a talent pipeline that supplies the company with fresh ideas & insight. ALL employees should be driven, hard working and humble regardless of age and experience level.

    This is saddening in an age where so many young people are out of work or working in jobs that don’t fully utilize their education. Instead of “don’t hire young people because you might have issues with inexperience!” we need to be thinking about creating structured training pipelines for younger jobseekers/workers to gain the skills necessary to improve their candidacy and eventual productivity. In a bygone era, companies hired and then invested heavily in employees (especially the young ones!). These days, companies are content to poach talent from each other rather than growing their own. That’s a cop out and it places us squarely in the line of continued workforce issues. We can do better.

    (Disclaimer, I’m working on a startup aimed at creating stronger public-private partnerships to help college grads learn the skills to be a better candidate/employee. You can check it out at http://tryecruit.com)

  • Sharon Newman

    Younger workers are unreliable preferring to take more sickies, recovering from hangovers with all their mates, they tend to be more irresponsible and socialise far too much never arriving on time to work after their boozy party animal weekend. These days They are generally lazy ,cannot spell ,non experienced, narcissistic.

    Older workers > Most of them Have ample energy being more careful with their health, more experienced, more reliable, less likely to take sick leaves, absolutely more Wiser, More mature for decision making , less vain eg they dont take as many toilet breaks to look at themselves and apply makeup in the mirror like a 20somethings do.

    overall they Tend to be more careful with their health a far cry from the McDonalds chomping, Energy drink guzzlers the younger generation are into.
    Most older people have more responsibilities and really need to do their best to keep a hold of their jobs so therefore perform at a higher level. Generally Id rather hire an experienced worker than the non experienced job switching young punks out of school

  • Shane S

    Dumbest. Article. Ever.

  • Shane S

    You’re incredibly Stupid, not to mention, an Asshole.

    I think you’re just jealous, youre an old over worked hag whos job was taken over by a younger, better person.

  • Sharon

    Actually Im a model and See this happening alot. Im not old either so I dont understand why you can comment when you dont know who I am

  • http://www.jobsclark.com/ Ruby Rocha

    Eventhough there are risk in hiring fresh graduates, there are also advantages to be considered, like they can easily be trained and the salary cost is not that high. Small enterprises often look for fresh grads because of these.