Whether conscious or not, age bias is still a big issue in recruitment. The benefits of having younger workers, full of vim and vigour, bursting with fresh ideas and teeming with techy know-how often wins top trumps over more mature candidates. Older applicants may be stereotyped as being less agile (mentally and physically), and lacking the technological skills and enthusiasm that their younger counterparts are deemed to have. But this perspective is far from the truth, and could be damaging your business by missing out on some seriously desirable skills and experience.
With an ageing population, and therefore an ageing workforce, hiring older people is an inevitable part of the future world of work. By welcoming more seasoned candidates, your business will benefit from a diverse, inclusive and productive workforce. Let’s look at some of the main reasons why hiring workers aged 50 and above adds value to your business.
Older workers will have spent a greater portion of their lives in employment, working in a variety of roles and industries along the way. This means that they will have gained key skills in lots of different areas, offering a plethora of useful capabilities to enrich your business.
It’s not just about work experience; the life experience of many years dealing with people and challenging situations means they will have some great transferable skills like problem solving, motivation, resilience, patience and organisation.
There’s a common misconception in recruitment that millennials are the most desirable group for bringing new ideas and fresh perspectives to the workplace. But older workers have a unique perspective on life which can keep the workplace dynamic and actually encourage creativity and innovation to flourish.
Many years of life lessons learned means that older employees have stacks of knowledge and wisdom that can be taught to younger employees. Having potentially spent several decades gaining a unique combination of industry expertise also opens up the opportunity for your older employees to become a mentor to some of the more junior staff, which benefits your business by adding expert knowledge and insights.
Having a workforce consisting only of millennials or only over 50s isn’t ideal, as it can lead to closed ways of thinking and a limited range of skills being available. By having a balanced mixture of employees from different age groups, you’ll keep your business fluid and constantly evolving, taking the best bits from both ends of the spectrum.
There’s sadly still a stigma surrounding older workers – that they take more time and effort to train up, that they’re rigid in their thinking and processes, and that they’ll lack the energy and drive that a younger worker would have. But this perception must be challenged by recruiters in order to stay competitive, judging candidates on their skills and capabilities to do the job rather than their age. Contrary to this damaging and biased perception, older workers are far more likely to be loyal, productive and happy in their role, and less likely to job hop as much as millennials. So before you jump to conclusions about hiring older staff, look at all the positives to hiring them and how they can add real value to your business.
This entry was posted in Recruitment