Growing old thinking of the young

Khalid is an ambitious 28-year-young founder and CEO of a 10-month-old advertising agency. Currently facing a dilemma of sorts, he shares his story over teh-tarik kurang-kurang manis.

Young employeeKhalid: Can’t decide whether to hire older or younger staff to fill the vacancies in my creative team.

Me: Do you want a more experienced team or you don’t mind training up freshies?

K: I would like to have younger ones but will not have time to train and wait for them to be ready. You know I don’t have an endless bank account.

M: Hence, go for experienced staffs as they can hit the ground running but be prepared to fork out higher salaries.

K: Agreed, but I also fear that they will have a fixed mindset and may not be open to new ways or my way of doing things. In advertising, we have to constantly be creative and innovative with ideas.

M: Ok, go for young ones with about 2 years work experience. They should be industry-trained by then and also not too old in their approach to new ideas.

K: However, these days, the young ones are so impatient. I may end up training them only to leave me after a year or two. Rugi lah investment then!

M: Right, let’s go for not-too-young but also not-too-old ones (didn’t really know what I was trying to say as the conversation was getting nowhere).

K: One of my staff (he currently only have 2 staffs) who is in his late 30’s is leaving me because he feels that I am too aggressive, impatient and don’t listen to him enough. I feel he is too cautious and not fast enough to capitalise on opportunities.

M: Sounds like you already know you would prefer a younger person perhaps someone your age.

K: However, since we only have a handful of people, it may not be a good to have everyone young like me and equally gung-ho, impatient and lacking strong business experiences. May end up with too many idealistic personalities but not enough thinking through and someone to play the devil’s advocate.

M: We will need another round of teh-tarik but this time with “tambah manis” to feed the brain!

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