Diversity in Hiring: How Seasoned Talents Advance Customer-Centric Goals

diversity in hiring

Grant Ian Gamble is a best-selling mindful leadership author and speaker. He has over 30 years of experience in leading teams to create innovative customer experiences, building engaged workforces, and developing leaders who prioritize mindfulness in their approach.

Linda had been a housekeeper at a motel for 25 years when she decided it was time for a change. She didn’t stray too far from her calling, but decided to apply for a job as a housekeeper in the new Fitness and Wellness Center that had opened in her hometown.

I just happened to be the General Manager of that center and immediately realized that Linda was an absolute gem.

She ticked the boxes on my 4 non-negotiables: 1. (High) Character; 2. (Great) Attitude; 3. (Wonderful) Personality; 4. Emotional (Intelligence). My acronym for this is C.A.P.E. because these Team Members are Superheroes, and Superheroes wear CAPEs 🙂 

The thing about these qualities is that they’re impossible to teach. They’re inherently wired into those Superheroes. We can teach skills, but it’s rare to see someone’s inherent wiring modified.

Linda proved to be everything I had hoped for, and more. Members and Team Members almost unanimously voted Linda to be our customer service superstar, year after year.

Linda is retired now, but at the time this move to a second-career position was a huge win for her, and for us. We became friends and one day she confided in me that she’d never even had a conversation with the General Manager of the motel she’d worked at for 25 years ☹️.

Diversity in Hiring: Unlocking Experience and Wisdom

Over the years, I have hired a lot of second-career and older Team Members into key member/customer facing roles, usually with enormous success. Ex-school teachers, former restaurant owners, ex-physical education teachers, former professional athletes, etc.

I am not ageist, and really appreciate the value of young team members as much as older team members, but there are tremendous benefits in hiring across all ages and when it comes to hiring second-career and older Team Members, here are 10 compelling reasons to consider this demographic:

  1. Rich Life Experience:

Older Team Members have navigated a myriad of life scenarios, enabling them to empathize with customers on a deeper level. Their ability to relate to diverse customer concerns and provide heartfelt solutions can significantly enhance customer satisfaction.

  1. Professional Maturity:

With age often comes a level of professional maturity and a well-honed sense of responsibility. Older Team Members tend to exhibit strong work ethics, reliability, and a sincere commitment to their roles, which is crucial in building lasting customer relationships.

  1. Strong Communication Skills:

The refined interpersonal and communication skills of older and second-career Team Members are often invaluable in customer-centric environments. Their adeptness at active listening and clear communication fosters a conducive atmosphere for understanding and addressing customer needs.

  1. Problem-Solving Prowess:

The blend of past career experiences and a mature perspective equips second-career Team Members with robust problem-solving abilities. They are often capable of devising innovative solutions to customer issues, enhancing the overall service quality.

  1. Patience and Composure:

The ability to remain patient and composed in challenging situations is a hallmark of seasoned individuals. Their calm demeanor can be instrumental in managing demanding customers and maintaining a pleasant service environment.

  1. Mentorship and Team Cohesion:

The mentorship from older and second-career Team Members can be instrumental in nurturing a culture of continuous learning and team cohesion. Their willingness to share knowledge and insights contributes to the professional growth of younger colleagues.

  1. Adaptability to Change:

Despite the common misconception, many older and second-career Team Members are adept at adapting to new technologies and processes. Their eagerness to learn and grow can inspire a culture of adaptability within the organization.

  1. Long-Term Loyalty:

Often, older and second-career Team Members are seeking stable work environments and are likely to exhibit higher levels of loyalty, reducing the turnover rate and associated costs.

  1. Community Connection:

Having established connections within the community, older Team Members can provide a bridge between the business and its local clientele, enhancing the brand’s reputation and customer trust.

  1. Sustainable Business Practices:

 The value-driven approach of older and second-career Team Members aligns well with the rising trend of sustainable and ethical business practices. Their life experiences often translate into a conscientious approach to work, resonating well with the values of socially responsible consumers.

These are obviously generalizations, and there are always exceptions to the rule, but a frequently overlooked asset in customer-facing jobs is the wealth of experience and a nuanced understanding of human interactions that older and second-career Team Members bring to the table. 

Diversity in Hiring and AFFINITY OS™

In the dynamically evolving landscape of customer-centric businesses, the core emphasis often sways towards adopting the latest technology or innovative strategies to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction. At AFFINITY OS, we use the latest AI technology to gauge member and Team Member sentiment, and we have found that the frequently overlooked assets that can positively impact the Member’s experience are the qualities and a nuanced understanding of human interactions that older and second-career Team Members bring to the table. 

Wrapping Up

Investing in a diverse workforce that appreciates the blend of youthful innovation and seasoned wisdom can significantly propel a customer-centric organization towards sustainable success. By recognizing and harnessing the distinct advantages that older and second-career Team Members offer, businesses can not only enrich the customer experience but also foster a culture of inclusivity, mentorship, and continuous growth.

Take your customer service skills—and your team—to the next level with the AFFINITY in Customer Service Certification!

Interested in learning more about how to transform your organization’s approach to team member engagement and customer experience? Reach out to our team at AFFINITY OS, specialists in AI-driven customer and team member engagement optimization.

AFFINITY Podcast EPISODE 10 | Collecting and Leveraging eNPS for a People-Centric Culture, Mindful Leadership, Talent Development and Talent Retention


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Put PEOPLE FIRST, ALWAYS and watch your business flourish.

Dive deep into the latest trends in customer experience and team engagement, mindful leadership and management. Discover practical tools and strategies that you can use to build a people-centric culture, the foundation for sustainable long-term business growth and success.

Led by mindful leadership expert, Grant Ian Gamble, a best-selling author and true visionary with over 30 years of experience in leading teams to create innovative customer experiences, building engaged, inspired and fulfilled workforces, and developing leaders who prioritize genuine connection in their approach.

The guiding principle behind all of Grant’s work is PEOPLE FIRST, ALWAYS.

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Understanding and appreciating these drivers can significantly improve the level of engagement among your Team Members, so here is a quick 13-point summary.

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The Affinity Principle™ by Grant Gamble presents a formula for business success through a people-centric, mindful leadership approach.