Why hiring young innovators will be the most cutting-edge business decision you make


It’s almost the end of the quarter. Your most effective team is deeply involved in the middle of an important project. The current staff is a little overextended, and some are even working overtime. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a key employee resigns leaving a crucial hole within your organization.

A series of chain-emails start flowing from one department to another. The recruitment team goes almost in a panic mode and ends up hiring an old fox who has all the credentials on the CV, yet isn’t a good fit for the organizationalculture.

Within a few days, it turns out he isn’t the next go-getter. In fact, he’s a total misfit. Even with all that experience under his belt, he isn’t really “coachable”… which means you’ll have to fire the new hire right away. Within one week you’re on the lookout to hire another “proven performer,” and this vicious circle repeats itself.

Is there a permanent solution to this recurring problem?

When you’re only looking to hire old pros, there is a strong chance you might end up working with people who are less versed in modern tech, require more training, and may be less likely to learn “hands-on.”

To avoid hitting this dead-end situation in the future, you need to invest in young talent since they’re more accessible to mold and ready to work even on a lower scale – an advantage that many new organizations, especially startups can gain from. Once you’ve welcomed them into your system, it’s entirely up to you to train them and shape your company’s future on their vast potential. As Jack Ma, the charismatic co-founder of Alibaba Group said,

“You need to hire the right people, not necessarily the best people. Once you have the right set of employees, then you can train them.”

Since the business case to attract younger professionals has never been more clear, let’s take a quick look at three compelling reasons why you should invest in young people.

#1 – Purpose driven employees lead innovative solutions

Fresh out of college, and with fewer biases in their head, younger professionals are always looking to work hard for your organization. The eagerness, craziness, and zeal would help to catalyze your existing operations. They are already on a roll, well-conditioned to give their hundred percent.

The serious momentum right out of school or college will carry over into their new job, making them an invaluable asset both in short and long-term.

Since there is a constant need to excel and impress, these young guns will scrutinize your “recurring problems” and put their efforts behind the most valuable growth parameters.

Planned recruiting is also a multichannel marketing strategy these days. Once you have a capable team of young talent, the word spreads out, and it’s much easier and cheaper (with better ROI) to find talent that fits your culture. Naturally, this leads to a growth-oriented positive environment which is excellent for your overall branding.

#2 – Get in on the ground floor with the young talent, and make it count

Most young professionals are fearless since they usually got nothing to lose. Their vision is not restricted to just “securing a job.” For instance, young people in their early 20s have a high degree of digital fluency which makes them creative and hungry. There is a quest to make a dent in their respective fields.

The idea here is to understand their needs and utilize their vision before they pick up bad habits from other organizations. This ability to get in on the ground floor with the young talent will always pay big dividends if you’re ready to recognize and shape their positive flow of creative ideas. Now the real onus lies with the employers to foster this passion and channel the energy towards the company vision.

#3 – When it comes to bad hires, the costs are pretty significant!

Even though the tech giant Google is popularly known for their ping-pong tables, fancy cafeterias, and the expensive toys sprinkled throughout their offices, the organization has been able to keep the cost of bad hires to a bareminimum. Their well-devised recruitment process goes beyond GPA’s, experience, and age. Believing in the core philosophy that skills can be taught, Google is known to find trainable younger employees that embrace the flat organizational structure, ready to add value right from the very first day.

The cost of a bad hire isn’t something which is easier to calculate upfront. The ripple effect cascades through your teams, brand, the eventual product, and its quality. Unfortunately, when hiring teams are looking to find superstars on short notice, they usually turn up to the most experienced (and expensive) name from the list. When these perceived experts don’t deliver, the cost of hiring them goes through the roof.

Yes, there is a solution

The first real concept of selecting a candidate through a conventional job interview process was initiated way back in 1921 by Thomas Edison. It’s been almost 100 years, and the hiring teams are still using the age-old template as the best practice.

The common standardized interview processes lack the depth needed to uncover any lack of motivation, passion or even talent that’s required by a young professional for succeeding at a particular job. That’s precisely where using a unique case-problem in the job application process is so helpful. A case-problem allows companies to engage and involve young prospects by giving them the best opportunity to showcase their skills in solving a customized query which is relevant to their organization.

This is a valuable upgrade over the old job processes that involve only a written and verbal test. As an employer, you get the additional insight into the kind of contribution the new hire would bring to your projects from day one. This fair evaluation also allows the companies to communicate their brand, and clarify what they’re exactly looking for when it comes to job role in the daily tasks.

Since the real success is always based on your ability to change faster than your competition, this is the perfect time for a significant shift in your recruitment processes. Get on board and lead the wave in your niche. In part II of this series, we’ll decipher the art of attracting quality young talent by including a powerful case-problem in their application process.

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