Employee Selection Revisited

Employee Selection Revisited

I read lately a buzz by Jerry Fletcher titled β€œFormula for Finding a Fantastic Marketing Person”. The buzz brings to our attention a relevant issue concerning preference of recruiting new university graduates over experienced candidates. The world is changing fast and the rapidity with which technology is disrupting our lives is baffling. Not sooner than we gain experience in a new technology than soon it is made obsolete by a new technology. Experience in is accumulating as the need arises for gaining experience in an emerging technology or trend.

This is a hot issue as many people who approach forty years of age are being considered too old to work in a fast-moving company. I commented on Jerry’s buzz by writing β€œI agree with youΒ Jerry FletcherΒ that experience in marketing is an essential ingredient of professional marketers. Sometimes academic achievements may proud some marketers of the reality with what works in the real world. We sell people and understanding people is a prime concern and hence proven marketing experience is essential. Coupled with academic credentials is great”. My mind kept pondering on this issue and I share my thoughts in this buzz. I resolved to metaphors in trying to find new perspectives on this important issue.

The Old and Young Trees Metaphor

What old trees offer that new trees fail to? Do old trees have more β€œexperience” than young trees? Do old trees have different functions than new trees? How the answers of these questions would relate to old-aged and new employees? One new research finding is that, contrary to old beliefs, old trees absorb more carbon than new trees. This means they are more climate-stabilizing agents than new trees. I think this is extensible to old employees as they have more effect on stabilizing the climate prevailing at work. Stabilizing the work climate is hugely important because in unpredictable climates work planning becomes almost useless. Experienced employees have a role to play in the forest of businesses and removing the old trees from a forest will destabilize it. So, why is the trend to eliminate experienced employees? This can lead to disasters.

The U-Shaped Organization

Major claims against employing experienced employees is they are much slower than young employees and, in our age, it is important to be agile. We develop a thinking and rush to adopt it without due consideration to its ill-effects. We need very slow employees, but also very fast one could be equally dangerous. This reminds me of the high and low speed of drivers. Speedy drivers expose us to unnecessary risks. Fast drivers lose control of their speedy vehicles and expose themselves and others to fatal accidents. Slow drivers also cause risks because fast drivers may lose their temper and make risk maneuvers to avoid them. Studies have proven that there is a u-shape for optimal driving and the further drivers are from the bottom of the U shape the riskier they are. We don’t need very fast drivers as much as we don’t need very slow drivers. Organization that are driving on the β€œroad of technology” should be aware of these facts and instead of being concerned on fast versus slow should rather focus their attention who drives safely. Equally important is that young people tend to drive fast, and they need to balance their acts by having the experienced, but slower, drivers (the old-aged and experienced employees).

The issue here that organization must work towards minimizing the speed variance of employees and that employees go at similar speeds rather than shooting only for fast drivers. It is the uniformity in speed that is the crucial factor and hiring only young employees will shift the organizations towards the high-risk profile.

I believe the issue here is that we need to synchronize between the low and high-speed employees (drivers of work). The greater issue is synchronization. It is like having the right brain and left brain. Why use one when we could use both? Same with agility and we need to synchronize more between high and low agilities. It is our separation thinking to blame by asking this or that instead why not both?


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Liesbeth Leysen, MSc. beBee Global Brand Ambassador
Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#27
One day I hope to record a video interview with you Deb\ud83d\udc1d Lange, Brand Ambassador @beBee. I have so much to ask you.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#26
Thak you and as much as I love your beautiful spirit

Liesbeth Leysen, MSc. beBee Global Brand Ambassador

love this article, you are so right, let us join all pieces of the puzzle, together they make one stunning piece of completion Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#24
Gert Scholtz- your idea is novel. The young generation might move faster, but the older generation thinks faster because of the accumulated experience. You remind me of the story of the rabbit and the tortoise. The rabbit moves faster, but it can go in water. The tortoise moves slowly, but can swim in water. So, they are both in need of each other. It is both together that may help in meeting different challenges. I thank you for your great input.

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

3 years ago #16

Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee Ali, if I can add some thoughts to your very eloquent and original post: Quick thinking might not be rash thinking – it can be the intuitive quickness derived from having seen and experienced similar situations – which typically older employees have. Slow thinking might not be good thinking – which might be found in younger employees who have not yet experienced that much and need to go through more conscious and elaborate permutations in their minds. Quick thinking usually leads to quick action and in some circumstances, it is more important to take an action than an absolutely correct action. Slow thinking might hold back action – which might be good a good thing if accurate action is more important than quick action. Thank you for a thought-provoking buzz!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
To wake up this morning and start the day reading your comment Deb\ud83d\udc1d Lange, Brand Ambassador @beBee made me happy not only because of the value of your comment, but also reading a comment by you after a long pause. Yes, it is the separation mentality that focuses on this or that instead of this and that. Young or old instead of young and old to have a homogeneous mix of the strengths of the two. It is the reductionist thinking instead of you you mentioned "the who system", the whole thinking, Unfortunately, this happens at a time we live in an increased complexity and the reductionist thinking is unable to see the whole.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#20
We discuss Sex Discrimination but ignore the age discrimination. This is an unjust practice. The blind leading the blind and the ignorant leading the discriminating persons. People have memories and they store the memories of their experiences. When we isolate old people we lose their stored experiences, which can be best communicated to the young generation through coaching. This "memory capital" or "experience capital" is wasted because of the act of the blind leading the blind in these dark times. Thank you CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit for venting out my disappointment, the least to say.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

3 years ago #13

We are moving from an age which respected elder wisdom to an age which is akin to the "wild-wild West" - where agility and speed is more important than long-term thinking and depth of thought. We exercise a shallowness through technology focus of many technology related companies. and at this point , I guess it can be called the "blind leading the blind". There is nothing wrong with a more able person being preferred over a less able person but everything wrong if it is symptomatic of ageism and discriminatory practices. I would like to have said that this relates to the Chinese curse ":May you live in interesting times" but it turns out that even this quote is false https://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/12/18/live/ or at least from some British official related to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who clearly must have been practicing the spread of fake news well before we were living in the present age of fake news.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#17
Thank you my friend Edward Lewellen and the like how much time they shall save and what experience they shall get. Unfortunately, the realization that you can't but "encapsulated experiences"

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#16
I am the one to thank you for the inspiration Jerry Fletcher. If people wish to find the value of real experience I shall refer them to your comment. Young generations who look for "quick meals" named standard operating procedures, and who are too impatient to think creatively will be advised to absorb your comment. As you said "bursts of activities don't solve the problem". In fact, it could have a reverse effect. I am saying that we need the two generations and trusting the young generation only, as many businesses tend to do, will only lead to unproductive bursts.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #10

Dr. Ali, Thank you for letting folks know the germination of this article. Not long ago, my seatmate on a flight returning home was a gentleman of about 70. He, like me, was a consultant. We began comparing notes about employment when you are of advanced years. Since he had been in the printing industry most of his life and I had contracted with many printers in our home town we had a host of organizations and acquaintances in common. Today, he travels the country as an expert in coatings that are cured with light. He works as much as he wants because the manufacturers cannot find young men and women that have sufficient experience and interest to train to replace him. As he put it, the best ones are coming out of the military but when confronted with a problem they want an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to tell them what to do. Their ability to trouble shoot is virtually nil. In my business it is similar. Creativity without analytics is not acceptable in today's world but as a friend of mine in Direct Marketing used to say, "Where did you earn your spurs." Too often there are young people faking it until they can make it. They operate on the basis of beliefs rather than facts and tend to think their view is the same as the potential purchaser. Great marketers operate from the prospects perspective. Always. Bursts of activity do not solve the problem. Solutions that work are what is needed, not attempts that miss the mark. In marketing, those ill-fated attempts can put a small company out of business. Big companies can afford the error (if they even know it occurred).

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#14
Your comment is great and the balance of the three body types is fantastic. Out of balance means far from equilibrium and so the system (body) shall be exposed to disruption. SO much to think about Bill King

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#12
Be blessed dear . Your comment and example are the perfect reflection of what I wished to communicate in this buzz. I invite readers to thoroughly read your comment as I consider it an integral part of this buzz. Greatly appreciated comment my friend.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#10
Your comments have always been enriching dear Tausif Mundrawala

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#7
Bewildering example dear Tausif Mundrawala and I greatly appreciate your sharing it. Sometimes, I feel so sorry for laying off people merely based on their age. As long as we live we should have the right to contribute. Fore me, living without contribution is lifeless.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#6
Thank you dear Tausif Mundrawala. It is my commitment here on @beBee to show that we need to work in harmony with nature and not against it. I appreciate your feedback and makes me more determined to follow on this pathl

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#4
Very true as long as the experience isn't the type of "doing the same thing for twenty years"

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
Thank you dear Debasish Majumder. SOmetimes we rush to new approaches and theories without carefully studying them. I appreciate your comment and sharing of the buzz. Thank you

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

3 years ago #2

'we sell people' is an interesting insight! new employer with new design of dispensation too need new people with new set of reflections inherent on them. even i case of driving new drivers are too prone with changing style and sometimes result in catastrophe, perhaps unable to adapt with the traditional design of driving, likely the old trees in the forest. however, Great buzz sir Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! enjoyed read and shared. thank you very much for the buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Jerry Fletcher- I quoted you in this buzz

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