Sometimes, hiring an experienced employee is a good experience.
Sometimes it’s not.
Last week, I shared my experience in hiring younger employees. Like all of us, young people have both strengths and weaknesses.
Looking to go in the opposite direction (and of course, there is a middle ground), I hired someone coming out of retirement after a successful career, looking to work part-time.
It sounded perfect. I didn’t need all that much time in any case, and her skill set, training and expertise sounded wonderful. A stable, mature employee with a proven track record? Yes, please!
In reality, here’s what happened:
The concerns I had were actually no problem. Technology? No worries. Social media? She got it. Learning the new product? All good.
The issue, surprisingly, was in working well with others.
This may not seem like an issue when so many are (still) working remotely. But it really is.
Maybe this has nothing to do with the fact that she’s older, but this star employee became offended and upset at perceived slights against her. In addition, she had no appreciation for the people who spent time training her in, and expected to be celebrated without really doing much.
The final straw was a team meeting in which everyone shared ideas on content for a course we’re creating for seniors. Not only did this employee choose not to participate, but she later accused us of not asking her opinion on it while being a senior herself.
While I’d like to think we could have made it work, we bent over backward to accommodate her schedule and train her on the product. We also tried to bring her into in-person meetings, but each week, there was another excuse.
I love and respect the wisdom of all people, regardless of their age or any other demographics. I also love the idea of part-time work during the latter portion of a person’s working career. I really wanted this to work.
Maybe it just wasn’t a good fit for our company. Maybe it’s difficult to be part of a team at that age, with people young enough to be your grandchildren running the company and telling you what to do.
I’m curious to know; what do YOU think?