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Why HR leaders should hire older Interns.

Recently I watched the movie ‘The Intern’ and while I enjoyed it considerably, I was taken aback by how engaging it was. The movie is about a 70 year old senior retiree called Ben, who out of boredom applies for a senior internship program at an online fashion site. Ben is assigned with Jules, the founder of the online shopping site who unwillingly agrees to participate in the program. Ben positions himself as Jules' advisor, a role model for Gen Z, and a guiding light of business knowledge for the entire organization over time.

This film gives a strong message to HR leaders, stating that "it's time to get ahead of the recruiting curve" and that senior citizens with prior leadership experience have a lot to offer younger generations. However, most of the HR leaders might disagree in recruiting senior interns due to the conflict between millennials and Baby Boomers, whose perspectives are really not always in sync. But does this indicate that senior interns have no influence on an organization's development?

Here are five reasons why HR leaders should hire senior interns.

Diverse generations show a wide range of abilities

Age diversity in a workplace brings in a unique set of skills to the table from each generation. When a Millennial or Gen Z-er is unsure how to close a deal without giving the client the impression that he or she is being compelled to do so, a skilled baby boomer may come to the rescue. Employees with diverse age groups can improve many aspects of a business, from internal processes to customer service to product development. Experienced senior interns have tried and tested business techniques that will increase the value of your company's services. Moreover, teams with a variety of age groups often seem to have more resources and come up with more creative workplace solutions which is why you need to hire senior interns.

Mutual Mentors are formed

It's no secret that the global workforce is getting older. Thousands of baby boomers retire every day, and since their generation is way bigger than those who came after them, this gives a number of challenges. The main challenge is the skill gap that retiring workers leave behind. There aren’t enough people to replace these experienced workers who retire. Organizations can initiate projects like a two-way mentoring program because of age diversity in the workplace. There are many benefits in doing this. Senior interns can mentor their less experienced colleagues everything they know and vice versa.

Decreases the employee turnover rate

Employee turnover rates are decreased as a result of age diversity, resulting in more skilled and experienced employees at your company. Employees aged 55 and up contribute to lower employee turnover and are more likely to be loyal workers who typically stay in their jobs longer than younger employees. Employers benefit from lower turnover costs and more skilled, experienced workers which is why hiring senior interns are beneficial to your company. 

Creates an open minded working environment

If your workforce is all from the same (roughly) generation, it's natural for them to believe that everyone sees the world in the same manner. They're probably thinking in the same way. This isn't ideal from a business standpoint because it limits your available consumer base. For example, if a team works with people ranging in from 18 to 70, you'll hear a variety of viewpoints on every topic and idea that arises. You'll learn that there are multiple approaches to a problem. As a result, your business will appeal to a far larger customer base.

Drives innovation

Workplace innovation will help you save time, money, and resources while also giving you a competitive advantage. Age-diverse teams encourage each other to adopt methods and thought processes that are not necessarily common to one age group, which improves innovation. Your company will create innovative and forward-thinking ideas by combining the various skills of all of your employees.

Age diversity in the workplace has become increasingly important, owing to the aging workforce, which leaves a void when workers retire. Personally, I think hiring senior interns can be beneficial to your company as it provides you many benefits and an excellent advantage for companies to strengthen their brand image, extend their customer demographics, and, perhaps most importantly, increase employee satisfaction.