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Youth and Social Media

Conflicting evidence
My primary gripe about this article lays in the fact that they outline obvious shortcomings that new jobseekers have — lack of experience and an inability to do everything that the current job market demands — while also describing fallacies about today’s youth that are becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.

The articles we have brought you about social media and youthful hires may have sounded like we were giving you conflicting evidence. Although I recommend using a committed employee for your social media strategy instead of an intern, I also suggest that searching for youth is a possible way to get fresh ideas. I stand by both sets of advice, however, it was not until I came across an article from Inc.com  that gave explicit advice not to hire a 23 year old, did I realize that my advice might have been somewhat confusing. This article outlined a set of stereotypes about today’s youth that are both non-factual and could be possibly discriminatory.

So, let me take this opportunity to clear up the advice I have given to help you make the right decisions about your social media. Perhaps in doing so, I should be positive about the things you should do, instead of being negative by regarding the things that you shouldn’t. For starters, I have said in the past, “Never hire an intern to do your social media.” While I stand by that, I should re-phrase my previously made point. Make sure that the person you have handle your social media is both committed to your company and full time. Make sure that you won’t lose this person when he goes back to class.

The Inc.com article that I am referring to, “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn't Run Your Social Media,” paints freshly minted college grads as immature kids that don’t have the slightest ability to choose their friends wisely or manage their time effectively. My primary gripe about this article lays in the fact that they outline obvious shortcomings that new jobseekers have — lack of experience and an inability to do everything that the current job market demands — while also describing fallacies about today’s youth that are becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.

For example, the first point that Hollis Thomases, the author of this article, makes is that new jobseekers just aren’t mature enough to tackle real-life employment. Never mind that the author has had a highly successful career, in which someone probably overlooked her obvious shortcomings and gave her a chance. The author also cites a study that indicates that today’s youth are less likely to settle down, thus are clearly not prepared for a career. Like many of the points this article outlines, I humbly disagree. The fact that kids today are putting off marriage and families to focus on what they can do with their own talents is both a testament to their maturity and work ethic. This is not to say that you should hire a recent college grad on the spot. It is merely to point out that assuming 23 year olds are unable to do a job can literally make them incapable of doing it.

This article also outlines the obvious shortcomings of new jobseekers; they have an unavoidable lack of experience. This is just one of those things you are going to have to get past if you ever want employees again. The current workforce can’t work forever, and if you want a work force at all, you are going to have to hire people who lack some of the long list of qualifications you desire. Experience, while valuable, is no indicator of promise or potential. That said, potential is no indicator of success.

In short, the best thing to do is realize that all candidates come with a set of issues. No, youthful candidates don’t have the experience that you desire, but don’t assume that they are immature or can’t handle the responsibility. If you genuinely think that someone would do the job you have to offer well, give them a shot. Interview them like everybody else and treat them no differently. Just make sure that you give each position the time that it deserves and realize that every facet of your company needs the best person to manage it.