There was a fairly controversial post the other day written by Inge Geerdens posted on the LinkedIn "thought leader" blogs that spoke about how she is reluctant to hire forty-something professionals. She gave a bunch of specious reasons and then caved underneath the avalanche of negative responses by authoring a new post, which was just as quickly met with disdain from the public that labelled her and her posts in not so glowing terms.
I'm Moving to Belgium!
Inge runs a 10-person company in Belgium and when I try to envision the world she lives in I am left confused. As an IT director within a medium sized enterprise, I long for the day that talented leadership candidates are so plentiful that I can start applying age as a filter for recruiting and hiring. I would never apply such a filter. It is just kind of fun to fantasize about what kind of world that might be like. It's kind of like those lottery fantasies I might have where I win several million dollars and imagine buying a new Porsche Panamara. I'm not the kind of guy to ever spend that much on a car, no matter how much I might have. It is just fun to fantasize about it.
On the other side of the coin, given that I am a forty-something leader, I don't really relish the thought of looking for a job in that type of market where age is a filter of relevance in recruiting and hiring either individual contributor or leadership talent. So given that I am forty-something and I don't know anyone who lives in Belgium, except a thought leader who thinks my age is a factor worth filtering on, I guess I'm staying put.
The World I Live In
I live in a world where, at a panel discussion at JiveWorld, leaders from Price Waterhouse Coopers tell a room full of people that employee turnover was a large problem specifically because the employees were not satisfied with the lack of social tools. I'll say that again for effect -- A significant number of people left a good job with a prestigious consulting firm in the middle of a jobs crisis, because they did not have an internal social network that they were happy with. Why is that? Simple. It is because your talented employees don't need you!