I think older people asking for higher pay than their younger counterparts, based on their experience, isn't necessarily simple math. I'd much rather have positions filled, relative to experience, based on the business need. Unless you're hiring a savant, a college graduate with no prior experience, is likely to need more time or training, depending on the task. Some graduates aren't even cut out for the task, and you won't know, until you try them. On the other hand, someone asking for a higher salary, with a nice CV/Resume and Letters of Recommendation--seems less likely to need as much hand holding. Unfortunately, in the real world, nothing is certain. Any way you go about it, hiring is a gamble. If you can't afford the risk, the lesser of the two evils, the lower income bracket, oftentimes does make more sense, at least to me.