“Age is no guarantee of efficiency and youth is no guarantee of innovation” – Skyfall

As a big James Bond fan, there is many a classic one liner to love, but the above quote really rings true with a topic we’ve been thinking about a lot lately at Badenoch & Clark.

As a man who has landed in his mid-forties I am fully aware that whilst I have some 25 years working experience behind me, there’s still another 23 years (at least!) ahead of me before hitting retirement age. I’m confident I still have lots to offer but my concern is that unless I am still here at B&C; will someone give me a shot in my later years, ahead of youthful talent that is emerging on to the work market?

I am not assuming everyone is ageist in anyway, but being central to a team that deals solely with recruiting in to all manner of companies, I do often hear that the requirements are for progressive candidates who are on their way up the ladder.

However, this is not the case for all roles that we work on, in fact I want to celebrate a placement made recently from one of my team. The consultant in question placed a permanent candidate in to a pivotal role and the candidate in question will be starting the week after celebrating their 60th birthday.

I thought this was refreshing to hear and also gives me confidence that perhaps I do not need to worry about my future as there are people out there that still see the merits of experience and a skill set that has been honed and developed over a period of time.

I also think that the client has got themselves a great person who they know will not be a flight risk – this candidate will potentially give them 6-7 years’ commitment before hitting the retirement age of 66 or 67 (depending on planned future increases). Which is about four more years than the average person who looks to change job.

The title of this post is a quote taken when Bond was arguing his case for experience against a young Q arguing his case for new ideas from the youthful talents that are the future of many organisations. But as we know in most 007 films, Bond would not survive without Q and where would Q be if there was no Bond to make his escape with an exploding watch?

The blend of youth and experience can work well and make a great team and I think this is something all companies should still be thinking about when recruiting.

We often talk about new working cultures and I feel sometimes that I am asked to learn about the culture of Generation Z and Millennial generations to make sure they get what they are looking for, but as a middle-aged man who is labelled as Generation X, I feel my thinking is actually more Gen Z and Millennial.

It is not just about not being ageist but also realising that generations should not be labelled in their thinking as I still believe that there is room to be forward thinking and innovative when I hit my sixties!

Badenoch & Clark has recently launched a whitepaper dedicated to workplace generations. ‘Leading today’s multi-generational workforce’ looks at the leaders of today the huge implications for employers in managing multi-generational workforces. How do you attract, retain and manage employees of such widely differing ages, who are likely to have different priorities, skills and preferences? Download your free copy now.


by Alan Campbell, Senior Manager - Brighton

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