Hiring Between Generations

Farm Policy

3/3/2011 5:30 AM

I never thought there would come a day that I would be a part of the “older” generation. However, at the recent Maryland and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Young Farmers Conference, Dr. Alex White discussed what he sees in the current class of college students.

He was quick to point out that the “best and the brightest” students are the “best he has ever seen,” however the challenges coming from the rest of the students should be things to take note of. In his keynote address he said there is a lack of confidence, low initiative, lack of pride in work, shortcomings with written communication and struggles with critical thinking. However, this was not to list shortcomings of the students, but to prepare potential employers to adapt their training programs, hiring process and other programs to secure a successful situation for both employer and potential employee.

This generation is not without talents to be capitalized on. This group has been built to multitask, an employer just has to monitor the multitasking to make sure it’s productive, not harmful. This group can also be noted for its creativity and can develop new solutions to longstanding problems.

In his closing remarks, White said a “generation gap” is nothing new -- each new generation brings its own set dynamics to the work force.

-Charlene Shupp Espenshade, Special Sections Editor

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