Today let’s talk about Old Candidates. I recently read a LinkedIn article by Louis Loizou that got me thinking. He indicated he is a 22 year old with 32 years of experience. He is 54.
Companies have lots of reasons for not wanting a 54 year old. Let’s see if they make good sense.
Companies Feel the Young Person has More Room to Grow.
They means a 24 year old can work for 40 more years. The 54 year old might only work 10 more years. How many people at Western companies in China work 10 years at the same place?
2.5 years is an average. 5 years is considered long and ten years impressive. Time enough to develop is rather like nonsense. China is moving too fast and holding people 10 years is unlikely.
Companies Feel Old Candidates are Stubborn.
Are some 54 year old’s stubborn? Sure. So are some 24 year olds stubborn? Sure. Either way, you need to filter out the stubborn people. Our company sees that all of China struggles to be teachable. If you find a teachable 54 year old, you have something very valuable. See also China and Teachability.
Companies Feel Old Candidates Do Not Have Enough Energy
Somehow people think 54 years olds are grandfathers who will be falling asleep at work at their desk all the time. I see more 24 year olds doing this actually. We have to ask if this 54 year old will be lazy and always tired. I do not think they have actually hired a 54 year old who is lazy and always tired. It is an unreasonable gut feeling.
Companies Have a Leadership Team That is Young
This one needs more thought. If you have a fast growing company with a cohesive management team all about 30 and you bring in a new coworker that is 54, you may have some things to think about.
Will the 54 year old connect with the others? Will he or she like being on this team? There might be some generational issues where the 54 year old would feel awkward if they always socialize together. In a normal work environment this older person is often valuable as they have some difference in perspective that helps diversify the team.
Why Not Young People?
Young people are often unstable and not mature in their thinking especially in China where to much pressure studying means they have little social growth.
They often switch jobs for small money difference. They have little life experience to draw from.
Older people are much clearer on what they want. They know the value of having a good boss.
We take a lot of time getting to know each candidate so can parse the differences and not need to work by stereotypes and especially ones that are not useful. We hope our customers will agree with us on this.