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Child's Play: Ineffective Hiring Methods

Imagine the possibilities. You’re a business owner and you are looking to add to your company, either a new position or replacing a former employee. There are dozens of applicants and you are trying to decide who should make the final cut.

On the one hand, you have several applications from 20-somethings who have some impressive internships but are lacking real-life work experience or haven’t really done anything professionally in your industry.

On the other hand, you have dozens of applications from qualified veterans of your industry. Some are employed and some aren’t. It’s been a tough job market in Oklahoma, and you can certainly understand why someone might not be employed in the industry. You don’t automatically write off someone who isn’t employed because you understand how the real world works.

A disturbing trend has been happening with businesses nationwide and especially here in Oklahoma lately that reflects the decisions businesses have to make regarding new hires. Businesses are overwhelmingly taking the inexperienced route in an effort to save money. They are sacrificing quality they could be providing for the service they provide in hopes of being able to train their young employees to become experienced veterans.

The problem is if they do train them to do a quality job, they are leaving. Millennials are smart enough – as we all are – to recognize when a company is trying to get by on the cheap. So they prepare themselves to bail out as soon as they get a chance and move on to a job that better fits their financial desires.

It isn’t just a trend that is happening occasionally. A recent Gallup report on the millennial generation showed that 21 percent of them have changed jobs in the past year, which is three times the number of non-millennials. Job turnover for those in the millennial age group costs the U.S. economy over $30 billion a year.

This number is shocking and is something employers today should understand is a reflection of their poor choices when making hiring decisions. Too many well-qualified employees are being neglected because employers just assume they are over-qualified for what they want to pay, or they are just more willing to take a chance on an unknown kid. And the numbers show that this just hasn’t worked out for employers as they had hoped.

This has been embarrassingly a significant problem in the PR industry, where websites are full of millennial-dominated staff pages. Meanwhile, media coverage is at an all-time low and social media pages reflect a lack of time and effort. Business owners in our industry apparently believe a youthful face and false enthusiasm can do more to build their business than actual work.

Yes, my son is my only employee and he is in that younger age group we know as the millennial generation. He's a great employee but his employment comes with a caveat - he works completely on commission. Anyone else who wants to work from home on a commission-only basis can join the team and we will get you started immediately.

Once we do start up the process of growing our team to add some full-time salaried employees, we will absolutely give equal weight to all ages and experience levels and find the best employees for our clients. Not for our selfish short-term needs and not because we were fooled into believing experience doesn't matter more than helping out a friend whose niece just finished college.

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