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Why Multipotentialites With Experience Are The Best Hires

Ageism is real.

If you don't hire a multipotentialite simply because they're older, you're completely daft. Yes, I said it. You're daft. And missing out on hiring the best of the best.

Let's break it down. What are the rationales behind not hiring someone due to age? I'll respond to each:

  • They'll be set in their ways.

  • They won't fit in our culture.

  • They don't list the right amount of experience in newer tech.

  • They will cost more than a young person.

  • They'll be too slow.

  • They'll only be around for X time before they retire.

They'll be set in their ways.

This is a stereotype of older people that has absolutely ZERO truth when it comes to a multipotentialite.

It's inherent in the multipotentialite's nature to NEVER be set in their ways. We are driven by a need to always be growing and learning. We can't pick one area to specialize in, how could we become set in our ways. We multipotentialites want to know all the things. All of them. We find new things to become fascinated by and must learn more! This is the polar opposite of being set in one's ways.

Older multipotentialites bring experience and knowledge as well as wide-eyed, innocent curiosity. We're the best of both worlds!

They won't fit in our culture.

Okay, that's just bullroar. This is about personality, not age. As the saying goes, "Age ain't nothin' but a number!"

I worked at a senior care facility. I can tell you that culture is about personality and values, not age. Make sure someone shares the same values and you'll be set. When it comes to respect for each other as human beings, age is completely peripheral. If you, as an interviewer, put age before culture, that shows your own bias, and you're the one hurting your own company with it.

Are you afraid that we won't get the pop culture references people make? Or are you afraid that we'll drop pop culture references that others won't get? I can tell you that I drop pop culture references all the time that no one gets. It's not because of my age, it's because I have such a wide variety of interests. I'm just as likely to drop a Rick & Morty quote as I am to drop a B5 or Parks & Rec quote. But sharing our interests isn't limited to age. If the quote is good enough, the listener who didn't get it may actually seek out the reference to view it - which BUILDS culture and camaraderie.

Multipotentialites naturally fit into most cultures - because we have such wide interests. So long as our values mesh with yours, we're a sure fit!

They don't list the right amount of experience in newer tech.

This is a very misleading thought.

I get why you want someone with experience with newer tech. You don't want a slow learning curve on getting things up and running. You think, "If they haven't used X tool every day, it will take them more time to do tasks than someone who has experience with it." That's valid. However...

The newer tech is designed to help people do things faster. So, you think knowing how to do things using slower methods is a weakness? Isn't it a strength? Unless you think that we WANT to be slow - which is a character issue you should pick up in interviewing. We'll be even faster with the new tech than the young person who probably won't see the value of the tech they're using.

Case in point: I learned spreadsheets on Lotus123. There were no quick buttons. I had to learn all the formulas to type in to make it work. (I was self-taught on this program, too! Because I'm a multipotentialite, and I need to learn all the things.) When Excel was put in front of me, I became the quickest person in the office with spreadsheets! And now Excel is one of my favorite programs because I know how much better it is.

In the marketing industry, this point is even more incorrect. "But we're talking about social media and digital marketing," you cry. "If you're not used to the programs, it will take you too long to get up to speed using them!"

No. It would take YOU too long to get up to speed using them. Older workers are used to new tools coming in to assist them, and we embrace the tech if we want to succeed. We know how to shift or we wouldn't have survived this long in the marketing industry.

Digital marketing isn't really that different from regular marketing. You still have to determine your target personas. You still have to figure out where targets consume the messaging and how to craft it to be meaningful. You still have to track the response rates, look at the KPIs, and adjust. The only thing that's changed from old media is that the turnaround time is faster. Which we older marketers LOVE!

We've always adored A/B testing. We know the saying "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half!" The problem has always been that clients never wanted to "waste" their money trying to test and find out which half, because it took so long and they needed to run NOW. But with digital marketing, we can run A/B testing, see results quickly, shift and get real results. If you think older marketers aren't ecstatic about this, you haven't actually talked to them!

"But the software for tracking can be difficult to navigate! It will take an older person too long to learn!" As opposed to having the data only available in spreadsheets - the way it used to be? This is a completely idiotic disagreement. Assuming the older marketer hasn't ever used the software before (which shouldn't be assumed), the speed and accuracy of the data provided through the software will make it even easier for them to put together insights. AND, we have the experience that will make the insights we pull out of the data all the more meaningful!

Assuming that we HAVE used the software before, but doxxing us because we haven't used it everyday for the past 7 years is a flawed perspective. Those who haven't used it everyday, most likely have been doing comprehensive marketing - not just focusing on one silo, but thinking about the entire brand, making sure that everything fits together and works to connect with the target, building relationships through all channels. This makes us better rounded, better able to see how the pieces fit together, better overall.

For multipotentialites, this is what we do - we work all the areas, because it's part of our how we're built. Our complex nature and experience provides comprehensive benefits.

They cost more than a young person.

There are two reasons this is inaccurate. First, you don't know that. "Oh, but I do," you say. "I know because we have on our application that you post your requested salary."

Really. A person who's been around knows if you want to be able to negotiate, you start high? Did you, as the hirer list the range of pay potentially available? If you did, and we applied, you should assume we're going to be okay within that range. If you did not, why?

You didn't because you wanted to be able to get us for the cheapest amount possible. You're wanting us to take on the burden of tossing out the first cost estimate so you can counter it, right? Well, counter it! See what our reaction is.

You're keeping your pay range secret because you want to get the most bang for your buck. We really don't want to list our preferred salary because we want to get the most for our time without you writing us off as impossible to hire. You're not granting us even that possibility when you require us to post our desired salary without assuming we'll ask for more than you will want to pay - which, by the way, is how negotiating works.

You're making assumptions without facts - which is the foundation for failure. Ask and see. Most older people actually do know how to negotiate, and we'll tell you straight out if your pay range isn't going to be viable for them. We don't mess around.

Second, you're not looking at cost in terms of ROI.

A younger person doesn't have the same level of experience, so it typically takes them longer to do tasks. An experienced worker will not only be able to hit the ground running, we'll probably be able to handle a greater workload - because we've done it before. Where it would take 1.5 younger FTEs to do what you need done, it will probably take only 1 experienced employee.

Please note: I'm not even getting into the stereotypes of generations here, as they're stereotypes. Millennials may be thought of as entitled babies who shirk responsibility, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you'd be able to sniff that out. Gen Xers may be thought of as the latchkey kids who are used to motivating themselves to get things done, and who don't complain all the danged time, but that may not always be the case. If you want to consider these stereotypes before hiring, though, who am I to stop you?

Overall, if you're not looking at the whole cost of the employee, just some aspects, it makes sense that you have a false picture of who is the better candidate. Which is the experienced multipotentialite. You can trust me on this.

They'll be too slow.

Really? Does the job involve running a race somehow? Then why do you think they'll be slow?

In reality, those who work slowly do so regardless of their age. I would expect you, the hiring team, to be able to sniff that character point out during the interview. I find that experience helps speed things up - as you know what you're doing, so you don't need the extra time to figure things out.

They'll only be around for X time before they retire.

Dude. If they're looking for a job, retirement is probably not at the forefront of their thinking. But again, you should be able to sniff that out in interviews.

And let's consider the younger person. They'll only be around for X time before they decide to move on to the next job. It's the same thing, you're just not thinking of it that way. Plus, you'll have eaten the expenditures it takes to train them only for them to take the learning and put it to work for someone else. The older person won't need as much training. So should this really discourage you from hiring the older person?

In reality, the expected longevity of an employee doesn't change based on their age. If anything, the experienced multipotentialite is more likely to stay with you for the long haul - which makes us the better choice.

To Sum Up...

Did I miss something? If so, let me know. Bring up your objections or ask me questions.

Otherwise, I'm confident I've laid out the case for hiring older multipotentialites. So now it's up to you. We're waiting for your call.


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2 Kommentare

I'd rather hire a well-rounded "get it done" professional who has a lifetime learning mindset that a raw, cheap talent who we have to hope their expertise and work ethic fits our culture.

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This article really hits the nail on the head. There's so much short-sightedness apparent in today's hiring process; it's refreshing to see someone address the same tire arguments one by one to change the conversation. Well done, Karin!

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