I am a 51-year-old PME who just got retrenched from my hiring manager position. There are some things I would like to share here.
As a hiring manager, my role is to employ people who fit the jobs advertised.
When I look at the stack of applications, to be frank with you, anyone above 35 applying for administration job position will not be considered based on my own measurement.
You can say that I am very subjective and individualistic but if I have that perception, I think that others will have this perception too.
I have a very quick filtering process every time there are job applications. I am not just referring to age only of course, experience and skills are taken into consideration as well.
I would not consider those who are not working in this line. For lower to middle management, I can accept people who are less than 40, I think 30+ years old are still alright. 40 years old and above will not be considered.
Why the filtering process?
Right or wrongfully I tend to have the perception, that everything being equal, a younger candidate would be able to blend into the team better. I wanted to keep a youthful team, my team members are all Generation Y.
In my own opinion, Gen X is harder to blend into the current team of Generation Y.
It is very important to have a cohesive team meaning that the team members must be able to relate to each other.
Generally a younger candidate tends to be more proactive. The younger candidate is more bubbly and outgoing.
When we go for business development, they tend to relate better to the client. Compared to a 40+ or 50+ year old PME, they may have the spirit I want.
I mean you need to market yourself, you need to develop that rapport and build that kind of relationship with the customer.
You need to bubbly, proactive, you need to speak, joke with them and make them comfortable with you. My perception is that the older people are more conservative and tend to be less proactive and harder to relate to the customers.
Older people’s mindset is more rigid. I do have people in the team who response to me, “This is not the way we do you know, in the past we do it this and that way.”
When I tell them something. I replied, “You already say that was in the past right, the past is already past.” They are not happy. But it is a fact that, why are you measuring what you are doing now with the past?
You cannot apply a set of procedures that was carried out in the past today, you need to see the relevance of today’s context. If it is not the best approach now, shouldn’t we modify and remove it and change to something that suit today’s context?
But unfortunately, in today’s context, for the older candidates, they are more resistant to change.
For the younger one, they replied, “Let’s do it and let’s try!”
Who would you prefer as a hiring manager?
I am a very open minded person, I never stick to my own views, to me I don’t think that the views that I have could result in the best way in doing something.
So normally I would hear other people’s views first before I decide something. Although I am not young, I am a receptive person.
The general perception is that the older candidate is not receptive, we can’t live in the past anymore, we need to look forward.
But I do still give some older candidates chances for the interview as their experiences and skills match the job role requirement but during the interview, they are very reactive.
They kept replying, “Yes, yes.. ahh like that.” Imagine
If I bring this person to meet the customer, what would happen.
I am looking for a person who can market my products, outspoken, bubbly. You may be very good at the technical knowledge, but so what? You cannot even get a business for me, what is the point?
If I have the perception, I would think that other prospective employer they also would have the same views towards this issue too.
Right now I am unemployed and I face back the same issue during the job search. Age is an issue and another problem is job fit. I always think that employers would see a 80% fit between a job and a candidate. I learn through many career coaches is that 100% fit is needed.
I have already sent out 20 resumes, some of them went through the recruitment agencies to the prospective employers, but they felt that there is no 100% fit. So it is a bit of a challenge now for my job search.
I really hope that the government can render more help for the unemployed. I notice that during this period, many people want to work. It is not true that they don’t want to work but they want to work just that they can’t find any job. I came across and spoke to a lot of people, they actually said that they want to work but cannot find a job.
This is really very depressing for a country. It is a waste of resources. On one hand you say that there is not enough manpower in the workforce, you want to raise the employment age from 65 to 67 and you are encouraging people and housewives to come back from workforce.
I take it as there is a shortage of manpower out there, on the other hand, you have this group of people who are unemployed who want to work but can’t work.
Why can’t the government do something to match this? It would be difficult if all the employers are private institutions, because they are not charity organization, they would still be practical in their recruitment.
Why can’t the government help out? Since they have a lot of ministries, organizations, RCs and town councils, why can’t they set up a platform for Singaporeans, especially the unemployed who want to work but can’t find any jobs to provide job matching for them?
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