25 years ago when I focused my recruiting efforts on helping PR agencies find their talent, I learned several things quickly. PR was a heavily female dominated world. The people they hired tended to mirror themselves: for the most part Caucasian, women, young and attractive. Granted they were qualified and smart but other people I presented never seemed to get an interview let alone the job. Minorities, re-entry. Men. Things have changed but not enough.
About 20 years ago I had a client who was one of the few remaining independent agencies around. She was the only client I had who once a year invited her outside recruiters in to discuss where the agency was going, what new accounts they acquired and what their plans were for the future. This allowed us to market her more efficiently and be able to distinguish her agency from all the others. These gatherings also allowed us, the outside recruiters, to tell her how her agency was perceived by the job seekers we saw. One year I told the entire group that I always felt if a candidate didn’t look like they stepped out of a GAP ad, I would be wasting both the candidate and the client’s fault. She was appalled. I drew attention to the nonexistent racial diversity and age range of her staff and let’s just say I made my point.
I urge employers to take advantage of the Baby Boomer market. When I have a candidate who has worked in house, agency, solo as a consultant or in business for him/herself, I likened their work history to my client as a mosaic of experience. These are people who have been in the shoes of your clients. They know from the inside what to expect from an agency. Take advantage of their work experience. Get in the habit of hiring people may be smarter than you. That’s a great way to learn. From your best employee.
Also keep in mind how these two groups are most comfortable working. Baby Boomers are viewed as folks dedicated to their employers. They value their jobs and at work they believe, easily enough, one ought to be working. Radical concept, no? Baby Boomers have a different mindset when it comes to honoring a job commitment. The company and the work come first, not the benefits and perks. This is the group who feels most comfortable in the office setting with staff at hand and face to face encounters. Boomers are proactive in that they believe in taking action when something needs to be done. And by action I mean picking up the phone and making a call rather than waiting for a text/email/I.M.
While the Boomer acts, the millennial blogs, tweets, texts…anything but making a human connection. How sad. However technology does allow for these forms of communication to support their preferred working lifestyle. And I am the first to admit I am probably in the minority when it comes to valuing the Boomer form of contact of face to face, voice to voice communication over staring at a small screen.
Right now it is a candidate driven market. By that I mean the job seeker has been the one calling the shots. And usually this job seeker is a Millennial. Suggestion to you hiring authorities: go with the more seasoned job seeker. Just decide that anymore hiring you do in 2017 will be with someone born before 1980. Preferably before 1970. JUST TRY IT.
I personally welcome Baby Boomer job seekers. It may take longer for me to help you but I am hoping that will change.
Visit my searches page to learn about current PR and marketing communications roles I am seeking candidates for.