Age has always played an important role in the screening, recruitment, selection and compensation of individuals. Although it is a general perception that with age comes more experience and maturity, but this perception seems to be getting restricted for certain functions.
When in need for financial experts, business development experts, human resource experts, training and development experts, and other traditional functions; employers prefer to have elder hence more experienced people on senior positions since they believe it makes more sense – and yes it does.
But when comes the need for technical and digital functions such as IT, Digital Marketing, Digital Product Development etc, there is a shift in employer’s perspective of “more age, more experience” phenomenon. In technical functions, employers seems to prefer young people more even if they come with less experience.
Putting a deeper thought on why young people are more preferred, we come up with three major reasons:
1 – Although experience do matter, but technical and digital domains operate in such rapid changing environment that even a person with higher experience have to run a “learning race” to stay up to date. As compared to Finance, BD, HR and other traditional functions which are much stable, the world of internet and technology is filled with everyday innovations and inventions, making it nearly impossible for someone to be an expert. It is this rapid changing nature of technical and digital world that makes employer put in less preference to age and experience.
2 – Looking into the dynamics of technical and digital world, it is obvious to have younger people on board since (i) they have a quicker learning power (ii) they are more aggressive in competing with technological advancements and (iii) they are more adaptable to change. Without the ability to learn quickly, compete aggressively and change instantly, it is difficult to compete in the internet world. All of these qualities of younger people make them a hot choice for technical and digital domains.
3 – The third reason is not a logical hunch but a reality. Statistics from different researches show that younger people have out-performed elder and more experienced people in technical and digital domains. And this fact is one the most strong point in persuading employers to hire young talent in these domains.
So next time when you plan an add-up in your technical and digital teams, make sure to have a rational comparison between old age experience and young talent.