THOSE WHO CHOOSE YOUTH SAY:

Let’s face it: whomever you hire will likely be gone within five years. Workers are transient these days and that is not a situation that is unique to the young.

However, a young person will not try to fool you into thinking they will spend a long time with you. So, with all of the cards on the table, they will drink in the experience you offer them and treat your job like a stepping stone. This is not a bad thing as they will be motivated not just for the dollar, but for the lessons you have to teach that will help them later in life.

If you hire a young person, you can train them to follow your procedures. And, being very adaptable, they will pick it up fast.

Young people, too, bring enthusiasm to work and that can only be good for the atmosphere in the workplace.

Many people like to think of themselves as mentors and your other employees will enjoy having someone there, working alongside of them, learning the ropes from them.

And, hey, if there is any resentment with having to answer a lot of questions, things will be much better when it is the young person who has to climb the ladder or run after a customer who left their credit card behind.

Besides, younger workers aren’t always inexperienced. They tend to have many transferable skills. For instance, many are computer literate. And they are accustomed to having great amounts of information fly at them at the same time … playing video games while Instant Messaging with friends while listening to music is good training for a busy workplace.

Last but not least, you don’t have to pay a young person as much as someone with experience.

THOSE WHO CHOOSE EXPERIENCE SAY:

Experience has very real value.

No business is perfect and there is always a business out there that does something better. Employees from these businesses can bring you more perfection. They can bring a different approach that you may not have thought of and help you avoid the same mistakes they have made.

Experience, too, means they can learn your operation quicker with just some adjustments here and there. The faster they are working without supervision, the more time you can spend on other things.

As well, experienced people have learned shortcuts. So, even if they do get paid more, they offer better value because they can get more done.

Then there are the savings of a job well done. An experienced salesperson will get more sales. An experienced warehouse worker can avoid more injuries and make fewer mistakes which, again, saves money.

If you hire a young person, sure, you get enthusiasm and energy. But you also get the results of late nights out on the town and you get the aftermath of girlfriend or boyfriend troubles. Drama tends to follow young people around and they just don’t feel a need to hide it from co-workers.

You also have to understand that an emergency on the weekend will not be responded to by a young worker. They believe their social life is more important than the business that puts food on their table.

And, just when they become fully trained, they will leave for another job that pays slightly more.

What is more important than effectiveness, commitment and loyalty? These are the top three things employers look for in employees and young people rate very low in these three areas.

Then you have to consider the people skills of young people. They haven’t had the time to learn when joking around is appropriate and they do not have a fine-tuned sense of empathy.

They are from the generation that was taught they are wonderful and can do no wrong. Their self-esteem is in glorious shape, but how does this translate to co-workers and customers?