As 2019 rolls around, many companies are becoming increasingly focused on hiring Millennials. Perhaps this is because Gen Y will make up about half of the workforce by 2020.
“Companies are focusing too much on (Millennials). Instead, they should be thinking holistically about the best way to attract and retain talent,” said Ken Shuman, VP of communications, NerdWallet.
While there’s nothing wrong with hiring Millennials, there is a lot to be said for hiring Baby Boomers and other seasoned professionals. Making it a point to keep a certain number of mature workers on staff isn’t ageism, but an effective strategy to create a well-rounded company.
3 Benefits of Hiring Baby Boomers
Hiring mature employees can benefit your company in many ways. Here are just a few reasons why you should be hiring a sufficient number of seasoned workers:
1. They help close the leadership skills gap — The corporate world is experiencing a leadership drought and is feeling the effects of the leadership skills gap and constantly trying to mitigate it. While leaders exist within all generations of workers, they are more plentiful among Baby Boomers. This is simply because they have more work experience than others.
2. They have a lot of experience — Relatively older workers aren’t better or worse than Millennials, but they do have more experience than Gen Y individuals.
“Millennials aren’t lacking the characteristics or determination to become tomorrow’s great leaders, they’re lacking the experience. In an increasingly competitive and fast-paced labor market, nobody should be discounting the potential that mature candidates bring to the conference table…seasoned talent, if strategically positioned, can become any company’s ace in the hole,” wrote a contributor to Crowd Staffing.
Leadership skills and expertise are byproducts of the amount of work experience only seasoned workers have. While many Millennials are excellent employees, they can often benefit from being mentored by skills-rich Baby Boomers.
3. They can effectively mentor the younger generation — There should be zero competition between Millennials and Baby Boomers in the workplace. Each generation can benefit from the other. One way Gen Y can benefit from seasoned employees is through mentorship relationships.
Mentoring in the workplace has a host of advantages for mentors, mentees, and companies. For example, organizations that facilitate mentorship relationships reduce turnover and associated costs, promote collaboration, and foster a positive company culture, just to name a few benefits.
Baby Boomers shouldn’t always mentor Millennials. In some cases, it’s more appropriate for a younger worker to mentor an older employee. It just depends on who has more expertise and who needs guidance in that area of expertise. But since older employees have more work experience in general, they often make ideal mentors.
Are You Hiring Baby Boomers in Addition to Hiring Millennials?
A healthy workforce includes all generations of workers. Are Baby Boomers and other mature workers less favored during the hiring process than Millennials? If so, consider the ways in which seasoned employees could help your company.
When it comes to hiring Millennials and Baby Boomers, it shouldn’t be an “either/or” situation — ideally, it should be “both/and.”