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Language Barrier

Job seekers need to speak in a language the employer understands

One of a job seeker’s goals in an interview is to convince the employer that you’re the best choice for the job at hand. But how do you make that interviewer understand that?

You need to speak their language.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Fortune 500 company, a brash, new start up, or a non-profit organization. The one language that they understand is… money.

“Why should I hire you when I can hire two 30-year olds for the same money?”

Why? I’ll tell you why.

Numerous studies show that younger workers tend to change jobs quickly, after short stays. A recent college grad told us that she was advised by the placement office at a prestigious East Coast university to not stay longer than 3-5 years at a job.

On the other hand, there are more studies that show that older workers – regardless of how close they are to the traditional retirement age of 65 – tend to stay with new employers 10, 15, even 20 years. In fact, according to National Public Radio (NPR), American workers aged 50 and older think that there is a 1-in-2 chance they will still be working at age 70.

Why does this matter? If, by hiring a younger applicant, the employer needs to refill that position every 3-to-5 years, that can get very expensive. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates the average replacement cost of a salaried employee to be six to nine months’ salary. For an employee earning $60,000 per year, that totals approximately $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training costs. And that does not include the costs associated with: on-boarding, lost productivity, lost engagement and cultural costs, customer service and errors, etc.

If the older applicant can make that financial case, a higher salary – coupled with advantages like business and job experience – that older applicant now sounds like a real bargain.


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