A friend of mine, Tom a short while ago commented on this obvious craze. At 51 decades of age, Tom operates as an IT (1099 type) marketing consultant for a health care tech start off-up. Tom shared not too long ago that he had just appear back again from a reunion with his close friends from significant school. Quite a few of those people Tom referenced experienced been in leadership positions in big companies, and experienced followed long and distinguished job paths to achieve their vocation goals. So, Tom observed it as additional than a coincidence that the only people today at the moment utilized amongst his good friends have been individuals who had been self utilized / owned their individual corporations. All of the people in Tom’s group who had risen by way of the ranks of corporate America ended up presently “displaced owing to situation.” It isn’t going to just take a ton of hunting all around to see this phenomena infiltrating the lives of an complete technology.

The contemporary software of the noun “juniorization” references the “elephant in the home.” It is the now popular apply of “displacing” senior workers who “don’t have as much runway left.” This is HR discuss for an illegal practice participating in age discrimination by means of a strategic deployment of rationalized hirings, pressured retirements, displacements, and firings.

The truth that there haven’t (nonetheless) been a rash of age discrimination suits, does not necessarily mean that the trouble has not reached a crisis condition. It only implies that these illegal practices are difficult to prove. Exiting personnel are extorted with severance deals that have been drastically vetted in conditions of fiscal fiscal savings for the corporation. Either you sign, agree to preserve your mouth shut, and accept what you are currently being presented, or you choose the boot, and facial area a extensive and high-priced litigation system.

Even as you examine this post HR teams are functioning feverishly to supply evidence that they aren’t utilizing juniorization techniques. They will publish lists of displaced staff that illustrate the age diversity of the men and women who are about to be a part of the ranks of the unemployed. Whilst, you will find a fairly great chance that the business will convert around and rehire young staffers in freshly outlined positions, or change the displaced senior employees with “extra economically favorable” possibilities such as outside the house “1099 sort consultants,” and much less knowledgeable, and much less expensive staff.

Hiring Supervisors are strongly discouraged versus using the services of teams of more mature folks – even when the senior worker prospect has a specifically beneficial background as a chief, or as an innovator.

There is no denying that senior workforce may perhaps not be as technically up-to-day as their increasing-youthful-star counterparts. But, which is not an appropriate (or authorized) explanation to place them out to pasture. They continue to have a ton to provide in phrases of historical know-how*, and management** (far more on that in a moment).

An appealing analogy can be drawn from the definition of juniorization offered on the world-wide-web web page ‘BrickWiki which is a wiki intended to include all features of what is coming to be known as the LEGO hobby. ‘BrickWiki defines juniorization as:

“A phrase utilized by Grownup Admirers of LEGO [AFOLs) to both describe and criticize the inclusion of a few highly specialized elements in sets instead of already existing elements that could be assembled into the same configuration. A BURP (Big Ugly Rock Piece) might be considered a juniorized element but it is more common to refer to pieces such as which is simply an element that reproduces five of stacked together.”

The ‘BrickWiki continues: “The major complaint is that the use of juniorized pieces reduces the possibilities to build alternate models, a cornerstone of AFOL activity.”

So, as the Lego analogy portrays: companies are dismissing senior employees who have finely honed, specialty skill sets, and replacing them with cheaper, younger employees who have less evolved, but more diverse skills. As analogized in the Lego world, the employment of the less specialized, less senior employees will eventually result in long term organizational shortfalls in flexibility, and adaptability.

*Historical knowledge is something in which those employing juniorization processes are placing no value. They are willing to forfeit years of experience for short term savings.

“We learn from history that we do not learn from history.”

• Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

• Edmund Burke

**Leadership isn’t a talent that can be taught in grad school. It is an acquired skill set. And, guess what. Not everyone has the propensity for leadership, That’s why it takes years and years to vet good leaders. So, throwing less experienced employees into the management pool to see who sinks, isn’t the best leadership development process. It will result in the loss of valuable talent through burn out and frustration.

The term juniorization is not a new one. In an October 2004 article in the Columbia Journalism Review (“Letter From Johannesburg: The Trouble with Transformation” by Douglas Foster in Cape Town, S. Africa) the term was credited to the online source: Double-Tongued Dictionary as:

“n.- The survey spawned a terrible new word: juniorization. It covers a multitude of sins. When more experienced reporters left the profession because they were traumatized by covering the political violence that swept the country in the 1980s, or crime or AIDS in the 1990s; when talented reporters get snatched up at double their salaries by government or corporations as spinmeisters; when someone gets promoted beyond his abilities, and even when a reporter gets a story wrong, “juniorization” is the one-size-fits-all label used to shame newsroom denizens without mentioning explicitly that most of the “juniors” are black.”

So, the term juniorization has long held a negative connotation. But, the contemporary issue at hand is threatening an aging populace that is already struggling to set retirement plans with no promise of social security subsidies.

A recent blog entry on theSkimm defined the term Juniorization as: “The term for why your office happy hours keep getting rowdier. It’s when a company fires older employees to replace them with younger ones. Because 40 is the new 30 is the new 25. Is the new not so legal.”

In theSkimm ‘s coverage, they referenced an article from Business Insider entitled Wall Street is gripped by something called ‘juniorization,’ and it is freaking some people out in which the practice of firing senior traders and salespeople and replacing them with younger talent was cited as a major cause for concern. But, this trend which has been recognized in the financial services world, is not confined to that sector.

None of this is meant to put the full blame for these juniorization practices on the Human Relations professionals. Obviously, these directives are coming from a higher level. But, the level of complicity being exercised by the HR folks is amazing. They are smiling in the employees’ faces and kicking them in the ass on the way out the door.

The days of working for one corporation for your entire career are at the endangered level on the extinction scale. But, don’t show me a rat and call it a puppy. You might be “just following orders,” (think war crime trials) but don’t tell us that you’re making fair and non-discriminatory business decisions. Because we’re just not that stupid.

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