The Better Hire? The 50-year-old IT Veteran or the Fresh Grad?

Via Networkworld:

Does the new grad have the edge or are you betting on the vet?

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I'll go with the vet, depending on the culture of the organization and team dynamics. I have worked for mid-size to large companies and I find that unless there is a training program, or a job is deemed "entry-level" the candidate with actual corporate experience was a better fit. Oftentimes, managers barely take the time to provide true on the job training, let alone training a newbie on "corporate etiquette."

I'm not saying this applies to ALL recent grads, but many these days don't understand corporate etiquette, don't have great work ethic and they don't understand that they have to EARN respect and rewards. Now, I know each generation has said this about the new generation in the workforce (I'm an X'er) but I really see a difference with the millenials. Parents calling wanting to know why their kid didn't get a job, parents accompanying kids to interviews or calling to say they are running late, inappropriately dressed, lacking basic interview skills,expecting managerial positions or salaries of 50K and's crazy.


Again, this isn't to say that all newbies are bad.

It depends on the situation.  Sometimes younger hires are more flexible and hungry to prove themselves.  Often older candidates are more professional and accomplished. 

Now that I am middle aged it bothers me how many employers are not interested in giving a more mature professional a chance.

I would have to say that in depends on the position being sought.  If you are looking for drive and creative vision, you might go for the rookie, for example.  When evaluating  someone with limited or no experience, I look for seized opportunities while in pursuit of continued education....this speaks volumes about the individual.   Yes, they are raw but that's where creative, engaging corporate unboarding comes in.

At the end of the day, you need to understand the organization, team and the manager to determine which candidate would be best. Typically, if a job is requiring 8 or mor years of exp, the newbie won't be considered. If the position is looking for 2-3 yrs of exp, the veteran is most likely overqualified and over the pay range. The job will ultimately dictate the candidate pool.

Of course, all these key elements come into play when searching for that ideal candidate.  I agree, hence why I said it depends on the position being sought and yes the newbie might not be offered when several years of experience is an important criteria.

However, when you come across a newbie outlier, it is worth a look.


On a side note, I wish colleges and universities did a better job at preparing their soon to be grads for the work place. Many that I speak to say the advice I give them is totally different from what they hear in "career services."

I think this needs to start in High School in Freshman Year.  As some high schools do.  .  Some high schools, as you know have a career day in senior year, which I participated.....its awsome.  But, it is only one day.  It should be done every year at all levels.




If the 50 year old candidate is not jaded, and still love the job, I will go with the person.  It's a better odd that the person will stay a little longer than a young graduate.  Young graduate have no realistic expectation and want to move up the corporate ladder quickly....

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