With more than 100 million subscribers to his main YouTube Channel, Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, can afford a staff--which he has.
If you're not familiar, he made a real-life version of Squid Game, filmed 50 hours stuck in solitary confinement, and filled his friend's backyard with 100 million Orbeez, among other things. The target audience appears to be teenage boys, or perhaps men as old as 25. That makes sense, as Donaldson was born in 1998, making him 24 years old.
So when you are young and your target audience is young, you want a young staff, right? How could old people (defined legally as people over 40) possibly bring to your company what you need?
At least, that's the message in this recruiting video from MrBeast.
Note what he says 38 seconds in:
So if you grew up watching YouTube, which I think is very important. If you want to help me, you have to have grown up watching YouTube. You love YouTube. You understand YouTube culture, memes, maybe play video games in your life.
This is where it all falls apart.
YouTube was founded in 2005. Donaldson was 8 years old. So if we're generous and say you could have been as old as 20 when YouTube was founded, and still count as growing up watching YouTube, you're maybe 37.
If you recall, federal law prohibits age discrimination for people over 40. North Carolina, where MrBeast is located, doesn't have age discrimination protections for people under 40. This means that no matter how much you think you should only hire young people, it's illegal to reject people over 40 just because they "didn't grow up watching YouTube."
Now, to be fair, the actual job postings don't list the age requirements in the video. I doubt Donaldson realized the implications of what he was saying. And, of course, if they don't discriminate in hiring, then he can probably skate on by.
But what if someone 52 or 67 applies and meets all the qualifications, and then doesn't get hired? Guess what video will be played in court?
While most businesses don't make "we're hiring!" videos that get millions of views (6.2 million at this writing), you may think younger is better for tech. "Digital native" used to be the code word for young people. But remember the following.
Age discrimination for people over 40 is illegal in all 50 states.
If you have 20 or more employees, you are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Some states have lower limits. You can't argue that employees must be young to succeed in your business. It won't fly. You need to consider older candidates the same as you do younger candidates.
Discrimination costs you money.
This isn't just because you'll lose the lawsuit. Think about it: The people who invented YouTube didn't grow up using it. Just because someone didn't grow up doing something doesn't mean they can't learn it now. You're missing out on valuable employees with valuable experience.
Candidates may self-select, but you can't force it.
I bet that people who apply to work for MrBeast are likely to be younger, because it's a channel aimed at younger people. That's fine. That may be the case for your business too. That's fine. But you can't discriminate against people who apply based on age.
I tried multiple ways of reaching out to MrBeast and received no responses. If someone from his team responds, I'll update you.