The Hollywood movie, “The Intern,” which was released in 2016, may have opened the door to a new workplace trend without intending to do so. To better understand what this article is about, let me give you a brief synopsis in case you have not seen this film since its release.
A 70-year-old widowed retiree named Ben Whittaker, played by Robert De Niro, decides to get back into the workforce because he has grown bored with his retirement. Anne Hathaway portrays Jules, the head of a fashion company who has been dismissing the idea of hiring an older intern. Although she is hesitant to try the new trend, she agrees to give it a try in order to determine just how well it can benefit (or harm) her business.
Despite the fact that it is not your typical office movie or comedy, it has done something remarkable for the workplace without ever intending to do so. As a result of this movie, a whole new sense of diversity and inclusion can be witnessed on the big screen that was not previously considered or recognized. The fact that a 70-year-old retiree decides to go back to work on the big screen has helped promote the idea that it is okay for older, more experienced, like-minded retirees who have lived out their lives both professionally and personally to return to work after their much-needed retirement hiatus.
Until recently, most companies did not take this into consideration when hiring interns. However, this film has opened the possibility for organizations around the globe to have at least one or more senior intern positions within their organization. In spite of the fact that this is a relatively new trend that has yet to catch on in your industry, many companies are not asking themselves “why” they should hire older, more skilled retirees as senior interns. Contrary to popular belief, these companies are often faced with the simple question of “why not?”?
In order to better understand why companies should consider hiring older talent, senior interns, let’s explore this avenue of interest. Generally speaking, older talent is defined as individuals who are approximately 55 years old or older. This will provide you with a better understanding of the demographic described in this article.
Advantages of Hiring Older Talent
Successfully executing this trend can give leading organizations an edge over their competitors. It is important, however, to understand exactly what it entails and how it will alter your approach to hiring both current employees as well as new employees. In this case, it would be more appropriate to shift the focus from hiring new talent to hiring older, more experienced talent.
Reason #1: Strong, Unrivaled Work Ethic
Generally, older talent has already completed one career and has retired, whether temporarily or permanently. They have clearly demonstrated a strong work ethic that is unmatched by anyone, regardless of their age or position, in order to reach the point that they are at now.
Talented older workers often work harder than their younger counterparts. Furthermore, they are more productive, leave less room for error, and stay late. The talents of a certain age tend to take their jobs and careers more seriously. In general, the older the talent that you choose to engage, the better their work ethic tends to be. In a nutshell, they are the first employees to arrive and the last ones to leave at the end of the day.
Reason #2: More Experience
It is clear that any older talent you wish to hire will have a great deal more experience than a recent college graduate entering the field of their choice. They possess excellent critical thinking skills. What is the reason behind it? During their careers, older talent had very little interaction with technology. Taking this aspect into consideration means they spent their time more proactively rather than scrolling through Instagram or Twitter like younger talent. The result is a higher level of ability in both personal and professional job skills.
The wisdom of older talent should not be underestimated. Wisdom does not emerge overnight; it takes time to develop and mature.
Reason #3: Commitment to the Job
Over the course of their careers, older talent is likely to have had at least one successful career. This entails a commitment. Having older talent means that they are more likely to remain at their current positions, in turn reducing the possibility of them skipping work, calling in sick, or changing jobs entirely. As a result, your organization will experience a reduction in turnover, while experiencing an increase in retention over time. Additionally, this reduces the likelihood of having to recruit a new hire of younger age or statue.
Reason #4: Multigenerational Teams are the Future of the Company
In a recent study conducted by LinkedIn and published on the site, nearly 90% of talent professionals claimed that multigenerational teams play a key role in an organization’s success. Based on different generations, the workforce is divided as follows:
- Gen Z (Born 1997 to 2012) account for 10% of the workforce.
- Millennials (Born 1981 to 1996) account for 40% of the workforce.
- Gen X (Born 1965 to 1980) account for 33% of the workforce.
- Baby Boomers I & II (Born 1946 to 1964) account for 15% of the workforce.
- The remaining 2% is composed of both older and younger generations.
At the end of the day, the goal is to make everyone feel included and involved in the future of your organization. When your organization has a multigenerational team, everyone feels included and equal while still being diverse and inclusive.
Reason #5: Smart Business Practice
Diversifying your organization’s practice with age is not only a smart business practice, but also a safe one. There is no doubt that people would like to be part of an organization that is diverse, equal, and offers a great deal of inclusion. Having senior interns who are Baby Boomers (I & II) as well as Gen Xers closest to Boomer age will demonstrate to the world that you value talent just as much as the next company, regardless of their age. Age diversity refers to this phenomenon. Whether you believe it or not, older customers represent a significant portion of the consumer market.
The benefit of implementing this type of age diversity is that you will be able to reach your customers and clients where they are because you will have employees who understand how they think and what they want. The result will be the success of your senior employees as well as the success of all of your team members and your organization as a whole.
There will be some individuals who are not as open to the idea of including someone who has already had a successful career. However, your organization needs this perspective to continue to build a diverse workforce. As with any other form of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), this type of diversity, which is commonly referred to as “age diversity,” is essential to your organization’s success. Be sure to include a wide range of ages in your talent pool, as well as different ethnicities, in order to attract new talent.
Whether you are just starting out on this journey or your organization wants to reach out to its clients and customers in a new way, this is an ideal method. If you fail to include all forms of diversity in your company, your competitors will learn to take advantage of your weaknesses in order to gain an advantage over you. Today’s society requires your organization to be prepared for every new hiring trend, and this is just another step in the right direction.