I read articles and blogs all the time on how organizations can improve their ability to hire millennial talent. Well, I am not a millennial and I feel a bit… slighted. I’m not even a Gen Xer. I am – wait for it – a Baby Boomer. Yep, that’s me, born between 1946 and 1964. I recently read some commentary about the influx of new technologies in the recruitment process. Some folks in talent acquisition thought that using new tech wouldn’t provide a “broad enough” candidate experience for us baby boomers – that we would be discouraged by the use of games and video interviews in the hiring process. Why is it assumed that baby boomers don’t want to be hired with new tech? Why is it assumed we want to spend an hour filling out a job application, just because that’s what we did in our youth (because there was really no other choice)? I want to be recruited. I want you to know that I know how to use the technology – and so do my peers. (OK, don’t go directly to our engineering team and ask how well I know technology. They’ll work super hard to keep a straight face.) I’m not a wizard, but I can keep up.
What Baby Boomers Bring to the Table
Don’t count the Boomers out as an audience for video interviewing. Embrace us. Many of us bring a wealth of professional and life experience to complex, professional positions and bring value to millennials and graduates who are trying to build their experience. We know a lot about how to avoid the politics and bureaucracy that were (and in some cases still are) prevalent in business. We know how to solve problems quickly. We’ve made a ton of mistakes and can help new generations of employees avoid them. We don’t have big egos, and we’re happy to share our failures so you can learn from them. Some of us may only want to work for a few more years. Some would like to spend those years in retail, with the public, building connections and having fun. We might want to work part time at a call center, reducing the stress associated with a full time, senior level position. We may want to change careers entirely, even at this, umm, later stage.
Video Interviewing for Baby Boomers is a No-Brainer
If you have a perception that we aren’t the right target audience for a video interview, think again. We FaceTime the grandkids daily and that’s a no brainer. We download apps all day long: whether to play a video game, post on social media, or read a new book. We’re right there with you when we order a super awesome potting bench, a pair of Asics running shoes, a box of green tea and a Princess Costume Treasure Box from Amazon (on the same order). We’re not afraid of the technology associated with downloading the HireVue app. Most of us aren’t even a little bit afraid of getting on camera. What does make us a little nervous is the thought of putting ourselves out there and being rejected – but how is that any different than anyone else? And really, all of us need to be willing to step a little out of our comfort zone. It’s what keeps us growing and keeps us sharp. And isn’t that what you really want?
Age is Not a Barrier
For the purpose of this blog I called my dad and sent him a HireVue OnDemand interview. I asked him to take the interview and let me know how it went – I gave him no instructions at all. It was completed 30 minutes later. Granted, he took it on his computer because he doesn’t use the App Store and didn’t have a password… but he figured it out and finished it in less than 30 minutes. We still play a huge role in the digital economy. Here are just a few examples of why age should not be considered a barrier to the adoption of new technology:
Reject the Stereotype
The past few years have taught all of us so much about how to behave online, how to be sensitive to different opinions, cultures, and politics. We’re taught to reject stereotypes associated with so many things. Let’s reject any stereotypes about our Baby Boomers and develop a video interviewing plan that includes and embraces them. I assure you, we are ready and we look forward to it.
About the Author:
Michelle Casdorph is a Senior Manager of Strategic Programs at HireVue with over 25 years of experience in Program Management. As Senior Manager of Strategic Programs, she assists large enterprise customers with their deployment of HireVue, helping them identify, target, and meet key business objectives.