It’s common knowledge these days that no one wants to hire older workers. They demand higher wages and the risk is they won’t stick around for long. And surveys have indicated mature workers are the hardest to place. But unemployment rates seem to indicate they still have a strong grasp on the labor market. And new research seems to corroborate the labor statistics.
When given the choice between hiring mature workers vs millennials, hiring managers seem to prefer the mature workers. Here’s what they thought of the differing generations:
Likely to hire: Mature 60%; Millennial 20%
Reliable: Mature 91%; Millennial 2%
Professional: Mature 88%; Millennial %
Writing needs improvement: Mature 9%; Millennial 46%
Fail to dress properly for interview: Mature 24%; Millennial 75%
Inappropriate online: Mature 19%; Millennial 70%
Good listening skills: Mature 77%; Millennial 22%
Positive work ethic: Mature 75%; Millennial 15%
Good problem solvers: Mature 61%; Millennial 23%
Strong leaders or managers: Mature 75%; Millennial 10%
Professional: Mature 88%; Millennial 5%
More creative: Mature 17%; Millennial 74%
Better at networking: Mature 22%; Millennial 73%
Need technological acumen: Mature 72%; Millennial 5%
As you can see there are certain categories where mature workers have distinct advantages. But there are a few that millennials seem to have a good grasp of.
The study goes on to note that millennial don’t show enough interest during job interviews and mature workers ask about salary too early. Interestingly, 33% of respondents think mature workers have trouble taking direction from younger management. This is a concern in my working environment.
Surveys like this can be misleading and confusing. But what it does do a good job of is showing what age based stereotypes might be out there. For example, if you’re a mature worker looking for work you might want to highlight your technological skills. If you’re younger like me you clearly want to exude maturity and professionalism. Being prepared for what your hiring manager, interviewer, or just a new professional acquaintance might prejudge you by can help impress them.
Personally, I project an aura of and old soul but with youthful enthusiasm. It seems to work.