Imagine a light-hearted TikTok video saying, “We openly discriminate against older people!”
It would probably go viral, but not in a positive fashion. But flip that and say, “POV: you start a new company, and you only hire Gen Z,” and you get praise for it. This is what happened when Fox and Robin Founder Tommy Flaim released this now-viral TikTok where he begins with “POV: you start a new company and only hire Gen Z.”
Buzzfeed loved it, and wrote about it with this headline, “This Millennial Boss Shared What It’s Like To Have Only Gen Z Employees, And Honestly, It Sounds Awesome.”
Yahoo Sports chimes in with, “Employers reveal Gen Z email sign-offs: ‘Hasta la pasta'” and focuses on why emails aren’t so formal for the younger crowd.
Do you know what they didn’t focus on? That this is a horrible example of age discrimination.
To keep reading, click here: We Only Hire Gen Z! Oops, Sorry, It Was a Joke
10 thoughts on “We Only Hire Gen Z! Oops, Sorry, It Was a Joke”
When I was young, the mantra was: “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Ironically, all of the people who said that are now senior citizens, possibly with grandchildren over 30, and may have problems trusting people under 30 (or some other, equally-arbitrary, age). Fox and Robin’s so-called “joke” is only a slightly more-palatable “OK, Boomer” sentiment. Were I a potential customer or client of theirs, I would seriously question their overall business judgment and probably be deterred from hiring them.
As one of the older Gen X’s, I can easily believe that age discrimination is real. I would love to apply to this company and see what happens!
Unfortunately, I think we both know what will happen. Age discrimination is very real; I mean most of the application process is extremely arbitrary and inherently based on discrimination until they find the “just right” candidate. I experienced it when I was looking for a job for nearly 20 months (I mean, pandemic aside, it would have taken a while, being an obvious Gen X’er just made it more difficult.
Age should never be used as a form of differentiating which candidates to not evaluate anymore than any other form of discrimination. A candidate should be chosen by the quality of their job skills for the job. As for making a joke about ageism and any other forms of discrimination, there’s nothing funny about it.
They also don’t focus on some of the other issues in that TikTok. Those sign offs had me cringing SO hard. Straight out of frat-bro type cultures. And Guess what? There are plenty of Gen Z folks who do NOT want to be faced with a sign off the says “Hate you” even if it’s “Just a joke”.
Any workplace with the much rudeness, snark and passive-aggressiveness on display is probably toxic enough that good quality staff with a few years of experience are going to see the red flags flying and find a different job.
Wait till your staff sends that sign off to one of your customers, and then see how “awesome” it is.
All you have to do is look at almost any company’s careers page to see this exact same discriminatory imagery – rarely is anyone over early 30s depicted, and never anyone older than 50. The message is clear – we want young people, and older people need not apply.
Age discrimination is an important issue, but using this example from a small start up company doesn’t do it justice. I did some research on Fox and Robin. They’re doing some really great things in the fashion space. There is no proof that Fox and Robin commits age discriminatory practices particulary because they’ve barely had time or resources to hire any employees. The company isn’t even a year old. To say that someone over 40 has justification to sue a company that didn’t hire them is also saying that any person who ever interviews for a job could sue the company they interviewed with. This is a company that has barely had the chance to get on their feet, at least give them a couple years before you start reeming them. It’s hard enough to be a start up company, especially in the fashion space.
The great irony is that older people have much more discretionary income to spend on fashion There’s a real need for nice clothing that isn’t leggings and hoodies. Can you really afford to alienate a large segment of the population when you are starting up?
You may be right, but — with such an inauspicious start — Fox and Robin may fail before they ever even get off the ground. Why would any company want to seriously hinder itself with such a boneheaded blunder right off the bat?
One of our society’s problems is that applicants are constantly judged based on their age rather than their talents and experiences. Certainly, it is regarded as one of the forms of prejudice that exist in our surroundings in this day and age; it is just a terrible fact to watch. However, we cannot deny that many teens today are more advanced in terms of the emerging technologies than millennials and prior generations. I hope that recruiters, HR professionals, and others would promote and assess their applicants and candidates based on how strong their abilities are, rather than how young they are.
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