Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Finding work at 60: Is HR Failing a Generation?


Upper middle-management and out of a job.

Too qualified,

Too set in your ways

Not right for the job

Too old fashion for our hip new company

And too many other things you aren't allowed to say.

How many really talented people are out there looking (and looking) for work who can’t find a job because the 30 (or 40) something that is in charge of hiring has a pre-conceived notion that the person they are looking for is “younger.” How many automated resume screening tools see someone who was highly successful for 30 years as not qualified for the new product manager position that just opened up? 

I am closing in on that generation. I know a lot of people who are there (guess when you've been around a long time, a lot of the people you know seem to have aged on you). My brother is 59 and just got laid off from a career of 25 years as a successful disc jockey. Seems they don’t need disc jockeys much anymore and really don’t need old ones. He’s applied to sell cars, drive trucks, work at most anything that a 20-something might apply for. Nothing, Nada, No reply.

I just got off the phone this morning with an old (sorry for the use of that word) friend of mine who was a very successful business man. Built a company from scratch and made himself and a lot of other people a lot of money when he sold it. He doesn’t need a lot of money now, but he wants the stimulation of work. For 4 years now: Nothing, Nada, No reply.

Seems to me that we have a lot of talent out there that current hiring (and recruiting) processes don’t know how to deal with. The Great Recession put a lot of talent on the street, but the great boom in new business processes leaves them out of the picture.

That’s a shame: A generation lost.