Age Doesn’t Matter ~The Value of Hiring Seasoned Workers
by Ken Schmitt and Vicky Willenberg
Over the last few years, we have noticed a growing trend in recruiting: The push to hire seasoned workers – more specifically, employees over 50. In fact, this is the first time in history when as many as four generations of workers are sharing office space. The value experienced workers bring to the table are squashing the inaccurate myths that once surrounded this segment of the workforce.
The Value of Hiring Seasoned Workers
Seasoned workers are much more focused on the success of the organization as a whole, rather than personal gains alone
Many seasoned workers have reached or are close to their advancement and compensation goals. As a result, they are not motivated solely by compensation, flexible schedules, or moving up the corporate ladder. Working for your organization is more about having the freedom to share their wisdom and experience for the benefit the company and its other employees. As a result, most of these employees enjoy their jobs and are committed to the organization. A 2013 study by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 9 in 10 workers older than age 50 are somewhat or very satisfied with their jobs. Meanwhile, according to the 2014 Conference Board Job Satisfaction survey, only 3 in 10 workers younger than age 25 could say the same.
Additionally, many employees over 50 are empty-nesters, or have children old enough to require fewer interruptions and distractions from the workday. Seasoned workers are not battling to split their time between finishing projects and getting to baseball practice on time.
Seasoned workers are prepared for unexpected challenges
Baby Boomers have arguably seen the most social and technological changes of any generation currently employed. Evolving alongside these professional and technological advancements has made older workers extremely adaptable and given them incredible problem solving skills. When you hire experienced employees, they bring these skills, in addition to the insight to identify obstacles you did not foresee and solutions you never thought of. Their years of achievements, failures, and maturity give them the upper-hand when problems arise. According to AARP Board Chairman Charles Leven, “They [older employees] are less ‘rattled’ and can be counted on in a crisis.”
Seasoned workers provide wisdom and mentorship for less experienced employees, lessening the learning curve
Older workers have “been there, done that.” This allows them to model skills for younger people in the organization. They can serve as both teachers and mentors. Despite the age difference, employees often face similar challenges in the work place. Seasoned employees have a business maturity young professionals have not yet gained. Coming alongside their younger counterparts, they can share experiences and successful solutions. Over time, they will look to those senior employees for advice and guidance. This also serves as a source of inspiration and motivation to younger employees and fosters a healthy working environment.
Seasoned workers are a better investment
A reasonable manager expects a certain amount of training and ramp-up time for new employees. Ideally, this is incorporated into your organization’s onboarding program. An experienced worker, on the other hand, can hit the ground running and be effective immediately. Older employees also have solid critical-thinking skills. This enables them to make smart decisions quickly, see solutions others miss, and identify cost-saving changes the organization can implement. Ultimately, seasoned workers can save your organization time, resources, and money.
Kerry Hannon, an AARP jobs expert and author of “Getting the Job You Want After 50 For Dummies, says there is a lot to like about 50-something job applicants. “Fifty is the perfect age,” she says. “You still have the energy of your youth, but you have so much experience.” Tapping into this candidate pool can be a strategic move resulting in a win for employers and employees.
Read our Ultimate Recruiting Cheat Sheet to learn proven recruiting techniques to optimize your hiring strategies.
Over 50 and want to increase your chances of getting a job? Check out this great article from U.S. News & World Report.
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