09
Feb
2016
article

The benefit of the older worker

If 50 is the new 40 and you’re only as old as you feel, should employers be paying more attention to the mature end of the employment market to fill their vacant positions?

Stability, experience, loyalty and diversity are all advantages of an older employee, yet many don’t feel employable as they age. With an ageing population and greater strain put on superannuation, it feels now is the time to re-evaluate the contribution our older population can make. It appears the Australian population is resigned to the fact that they will end up working longer than they would like. In research completed by SEEK, we found that while the majority want to retire before they are 65 years old, only just over a third think they actually will. Most think they will realistically retire by the age of 75 instead. So with an older population prepared to work, who is prepared to hire them?

Diversity is a buzz word bandied about constantly by organisations everywhere. While many use it to describe their hiring policy, just how well is it exercised when you look round the all-staff town hall? The benefits of a diverse workforce are well documented and some of the key advantages of a diverse workplace include improved problem solving, talent attraction, talent retention and increased productivity. All of these advantages can be direct benefits from older employees too.

Unlike their younger and sometimes fickle counterparts, older employees are known for their strong work ethic, loyalty and increased tenure. They can often be the same age as your clients, which means their ability to relate to them and deliver relevant customer service is superior. They also bring to the table a different perspective, experience and strong communication skills, meaning their contribution is valuable and can complement younger members of the team nicely.

But it’s their loyalty and desire to stay put that can also be a big attraction. Unlike the younger generations who can have itchy feet, big ambitions, OEs and families to entice them away from your organisation, our research shows that the those aged nearer to 55 are more likely to stay put in the job they have. In fact, 60% of 55-64 year olds intend to stay in their current job.

So while they deliver diversity, older employees can also deliver so much more to your organisation. And it’s quite likely, the old dogs could teach you some new tricks too.

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