All They Want to Hire is Younger/Cheaper
This is the fifth in a series called Mailbag, wherein I respond to readers’ questions regarding career issues. This month, we have a question about how to deal properly when hiring managers or the higher-ups just want to make offers to younger/cheaper candidates.
The hiring manager (or perhaps forced by the higher-ups) is looking for younger and cheaper—how can we Boomers get around that scenario? My experience and education are in non-profit management.
I have had multiple interviews, but I haven’t been able to land an offer.
I want you to think like a negotiator whose aim is to get the best deal. In order to do that, you need to understand what the hiring manager’s real issues are.
This has to start from the very beginning of the interview process by asking a lot of probing questions. Read the following post, Probing for Pain Points in an Interview to learn more about probing questions.
Your questions should be open-ended, which mean they cannot be answered simply with a yes or no. Read the following post, Questions That Power The Negotiator Job Search on how to construct open-ended questions.
One of my favorite questions for the hiring manager is:
What keeps you up at night?
If you can get the hiring manager to spill the beans, you can then position yourself to sell your real value. If they are looking for someone who is younger/cheaper, then you will need to sell them that you not only can do more but that you are worth it.
I spell out this process in the Negotiator Job Search series.
I am a former Chief Marketing Officer for a healthcare company. I have now been out of work for one year and am looking at both finding a new marketing position as well as the potential of starting a new business.
Do you have any advice?
I spoke with Dominic and found out that:
- He had been very highly compensated
- The portion of the healthcare industry he worked in is currently in a high degree of flux
- Age was a factor
Given your level of compensation, it does not surprise me that a year has gone by and you have not yet landed a new job. A good rule of thumb is you may have to wait one month for every $10,000 of salary until you find the right thing. This may only be a rule of thumb, but you also have to remember that there are very few jobs in the country at your former salary level. Even though you say you will take less, no one will believe you.
If you want to find a J-O-B, you will likely need to “date” to get a job. Start a consulting business. Yes, you will need to form a company. Then consult for companies that are capable of hiring you. You can read more about this process in my post, 3 Ways to Date to Get a Job.
Many people in your shoes say, “I do not want to be a consultant.” You have to look at it as a means to an end.
If you want to start a business, there are three directions you could take.
- Buy a business. Find a good business broker and explore whether purchasing an established business makes sense. I encourage you to find a good business broker. This is someone with a good track record who understands business valuations.
- Buy a franchise. Contact a franchise representative from either Entrepreneur Source or Frannet. You may have to date a several of these representatives to find one you like. Do not make the franchising decision on your own.
- Start your own business. Start by contacting your local Small Business Development Center for help. These centers are funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and are FREE!
Whether you want to work for someone else or work for yourself, the road will likely lead to some form of entrepreneurship. It might be short-term in dating to get a job or long-term in running your own business.
I hope that helps, but at your age and salary level, you have a big mountain to climb. Oh, by the way, there are a lot of others just like you. Private equity firms are buying up small to medium size businesses, ejecting the entire C-Suite (CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, COO.., ) and bringing in their own people.
You are not alone! There are a lot of people just like you.Marc Miller
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