So we’ve all heard the generational gripes when it comes to finding a job. Each side of the fence thinks that they have it so rough.

Young: “Yo, I don’t have enough experience 2 b considered for a job position, man. I’m so gonna’ be unemployed forever! Not cool! LOL”

Old: “All the experience in the world won’t change the fact that employers don’t want an old fogy like me!”

What do employers really want? Is it easier to land a job in the world of the freshly graduated, or does experience come out on top? This question can be answered on both sides of the spectrum depending on what exactly the company is looking for.
Scenario: A 22 year old boy walks into an IT job interview wearing jeans, DC shoes, and a lip ring. He is fresh out of college with a degree in computer programming. His interview is not bad by any means. He answers respectfully and eagerly, but his experience is rocky at best. Two more people interview later that day. Both are nearing 50 but have a lifetime of experience in the field and have been around to watch it grow and change. They are also polite and wearing dress clothes. Who got the job? That depends on several key factors.

The sad truth is that companies will often think of the most cost effective way to hire a new employee. The youngling has less experience and will most likely work for a fraction of the cost that the older potentials would require. He is just happy to land his first job and will use it as a stepping stone to reach higher career opportunities. He is also not on the verge of retiring and moving to Florida. 

That is not to say that all employers prefer the younger crowd. If the client desires a candidate with several years of experience, then the older two have the advantage over Mr. piercing. Recruiters here at Resource say that a lot of the car companies in Michigan like to hire a team that is mixed with the old and the new. This way, fresh ideas are utilized in connection with experience. With the way the younger generation interacts these days, however, I’m not so sure that the communication within these teams is the best.

Young: “Did you get my idea about the new rear-view mirrors?”

Old: “No, when did you tell me about it?”

Young: “I sent it to you like 3 days ago on Facebook. I texted it to you as well!”

Old: “Sigh…”

Employers sometimes have the opinion that older job seekers are already set in their ways and cannot be molded to how the company wants the job done. When did looking for a job become so childish? Apparently older job seekers are made of old Play-Doh. Mom, this Play-Doh is all hard and stuff. Buy me new Play-Doh so I can make a dinosaur that shoots laser beams while creating quality computer programming. “Set in their ways” demonstrates knowledge. A college student could have just as many troubles being molded because they have never had the hands-on experience of the job itself. This accusation only has merit based on the “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” idiom. I’m sure there is a plethora of older canines that can master the latest tricks. For instance, my grandma has a Facebook and knows how to use it!

Would you believe that how attractive the potential employee is affects the decision as well? If the 50 year old is a lot handsomer and friendlier to the eyes of the hiring manager, he will most likely get the job. Studies have shown that more attractive people land positions easier. It’s sad, but true.

Most recruiters that I spoke with claim that the younger generation has the slight upper hand in hiring, but they do not stress that this is always the case. Older candidates still get considered for positions and are placed regularly as well. It really comes down to what the hiring manager wants. Do they go for experience and knowledge or take a chance on the new?

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