At what age does one become a “senior”? According to the latest studies on the subject, at forty-five. In other words, twenty or so years before retirement! It is true that at this age one has acquired a certain level of professional maturity, but the term “senior” implies even more: that one has reached one’s zenith before entering into a long period of decline that culminates with retirement.
Going beyond semantics, one could say that seniors inspire fear. All the in-company debates on “the question of seniors” have contributed to a lasting and heavily biased image that no longer reflects reality. Seniors are said to be expensive, to lack flexibility and to be less-inclined to learn and follow training.
What we recruiters see is something different: experts who really want to pass on their skills, passionate individuals who offer to contribute to the history of a company by sharing their own company history. Professionals who, even if they have made mistakes in the past, have grown as a result of these experiences and know today what to draw from them. They are the ones who have acquired the most skills; they are the ones with the most developed networks; they are the ones who guarantee the longevity of your activity.
The debate on the question of seniors is certainly far from over, so how about us adopting a more realistic standpoint? An organization without a senior is an organization without a history: it will continue to make the mistakes of the past without recognising them and will try to re-invent things that already exists. It will claim to innovate but end up dispersing itself. On the other hand, an organization without juniors will live a fossilised existence in a world that it thinks it knows and masters completely. A lack of opportunism and innovative spirit will cause it to miss out when it comes to taking new directions crucial to the construction of its history.
Like in everything, parsimony and common sense are to be recommended: a company should aim for a mixture of ages in its teams. But above all, this fear of seniors must stop; what they cost is nothing compared to the price their absence could cost you: the longevity of your company, the stability of your organization, the security of your workforce. And professionals such as these will always have a great story to tell: yours. So how many of these seniors have you recruited?
This fear of seniors must stop