About a quarter of those over 50 who lose their jobs will not find another job for the next two years. Nili Goldfein, CEO NGG Global Learning Solutions, and an experienced human resources professional, thinks recruiters are making a mistake by giving up on senior and experienced candidates
A few years ago a special and unique book called “Old Man’s War” by John Scalzi fell into my hands. Being in the genre of fantasy and science fiction, it is not clear to me how many have heard of it. The book describes an imaginary world where Earth is just one of many settlements in the galaxy. It still is the “home world” of the human race, but there are numerous other inhabited planets. In this fictional world, the human race has an army that recruits soldiers who are all at least 70 years old. Why? Without spoiling this great book, the simple answer is: because the Galactic reality is so complex. In that imaginary world, wars with other races for control of humanity’s needed resources are so sophisticated that it is impossible to even begin to meet the challenge without the experience, perspective and judgment of elderly people.
Now back to our world. The cliché says, “the world belongs to the young”. And maybe it’s not a cliché, but the sad truth. After all, according to data recently released, 65% of those aged 50 and over do not find a job by the end of the period in which they receive unemployment benefits, and a quarter of them fail to find work for a full two years after being laid off.
In praise of diversity and points of view
Recruiters look for young and hungry talent and give up too easily on senior and experienced candidates. Mistake. The world of business does not belong to this or that subset. The modern world, complex and changing, like the galaxy in “Old Man’s War,” belongs to a balanced mix of groups. Stability and progress, boldness and discretion, creative and structured thinking. The more work teams are mixed and diverse, the better the business results. It’s true regarding diversity in gender, cultures, and professions, and it’s true regarding diversity in age.
Age 50 is the right time to start something different. Something new. Something that young people aged 20, 30 and 40 can’t do and don’t know.
There are so many obvious advantages to people aged fifty-plus. Their children have already left home, they have a lot more free time, their mortgage has been paid off, leaving them under less stress, they are accustomed to work and want to work (which is not always true regarding Millennials) and they take life (and the challenges of work) in perspective. The more organizations come to understand the benefits of a multi-generational talent pool, the more it will strengthen the Israeli economy, and we will all pay a lower price due to job hopping and inexperienced managers and key personnel.