Battle of the Ages: Youth vs. Experience

Youth v. Experience

One of the biggest debates in the recruitment sector is distinguishing whether a ‘wealth of experience’ or a ‘wealth of enthusiasm’ is more important when hiring.
A new CIPD research report highlights that one in four workers in the UK are over the age of 50, and by 2030 the number of people in the UK over the age of 85 will have doubled. With people living longer, working lives have been extended and people are building up more invaluable experience. It is therefore important that businesses acknowledge the pros and cons of an aging workforce.

Hiring an individual with a vast amount of experience and a well-developed skill set can help towards the smooth running of a business as they are better suited to dealing with potentially difficult situations.

However, an older workforce can sometimes have a detrimental effect with regards to staying up to date with the latest trends. It can be difficult to encourage new techniques, being that, their expertise and knowledge has served them well in their careers so far.

This is where the advantage of recruiting millennials comes in. Young candidates are said to possess intense enthusiasm and eagerness to learn their new trades, making them the most appealing candidates to hire. Millennial’s are very quick learners too, allowing them to be trained in a way that best suits the business.

Though a millennial’s lack of work experience is not always ideal; millennials are often more cost effective. For example, the average salary of an apprentice is £8,840 per annum, making them the most affordable staff. The average yearly salary in the UK is £26,500; this means you can hire three apprentices for the equivalent of one fully trained and experienced candidate.

Whilst the advantages of hiring a millennial is appealing, recruiters and employers must weigh up the disadvantage a millennial can have on their company too. Due to their lack of experience, many candidates may be unable to deal with challenging tasks and so are restricted with the work that they can complete for you. It can also be inconvenient for a member of staff to train the individual up as they may not have the time or resources to spare to do so, leaving recruiters and employers at a loss.

There are most certainly clear advantages and disadvantages that each age group can bring to businesses, and the question here is not ‘who is better?’, but instead ‘who is more suited to my company?’

However, it is extremely important for recruiters and employers to anticipate the extraordinary benefits that hiring candidates from both sides of the scale can bring. It would seem that uniting the ages together is the perfect recipe for an incredibly strong and invaluable workforce.