Aged 60 and unemployed! Looking for a job? Forget it?!
A European company deciding to enter the Austrian market came to us looking for a managing director. He/she should have the responsibility of building up the Austrian company (legal registration, regulatory in a special sector, staffing etc...) from scratch.
Among the usual, experienced, selected candidates we have found an "older" one, who was unemployed for years after a successful career as managing director in various companies in the desired sector. This candidate had the simple burden of being considered as "too old" for the job. 60+, the terrific category of many Western European market labours...No more in demand, not even seriously considered for a new role, despite his amazing dynamism and willingness to offer his vast experience to a new investor.
Surprisingly, our client responded very positively to our decision to present him as valuable, shortlisted, candidate. His experience became a key value, his age was no burden! On the contrary, his situation as unemployed candidate could bring financial benefits to our client in the form of subsidies from the Austrian state to facilitate re-entry of such people for a new career opportunity.
The three years remaining before his well deserved retirement were considered essential for the foundation of the Austrian company. During this time, the client would fully benefit from his network and sector knowledge. Then he would pass on the role of MD to a younger professional responsible for business development.
Our client said, "hiring an experienced candidate who is unemployed gives us not only a good feeling but on the same time the guarantee that he will deliver disproportionally compared to other candidates - a perfect win-win situation!".
Somehow, as head hunters we must have the courage to go for the extra mile, to look over the edge of the plate. If we are convinced internally that a candidate is to be shortlisted, even if he/she is "too old" or/and unemployed, we must pass on our conviction to the client. Not an easy task in a globalized world of prejudice, but rewarding.
Group Regional Consultant CEE
TARGET Executive Search - Austria