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The Grey Economy: The HR Benefits Of Hiring Older Workers

April 26 2017 - There is an indisputable trend occurring in the world of work - more and more people are working beyond the retirement age. There are a range of reasons for this change, but the plain fact is that, from an HR perspective, the trend is not going far enough. Many employers are still reluctant to hire people in their sixties, despite the fact that older workers can confer a wide array of benefits to a given workforce.

Reasons For Older Workers Seeking New Employment

It may be that the physical demands of a certain job become too much for a worker in their sixties, and despite the years of experience and expertise that they have accrued, it becomes necessary to reassess their role. It may be that they are unsatisfied with senior management, or some of the business practices that they have witnessed. Whatever the reason, many workers in this position find that employers are reluctant to hire them. There are preconceptions about older people that are at play here - they won't understand new technology, for example, but these are preconceptions that have been shown to be false. In fact, older workers demonstrate skills that, in many cases, surpass that of their younger counterparts.

Benefits Of Hiring Older Workers

One of the key benefits of hiring older workers, particularly from an HR perspective, is that they are dedicated. This is not to imply that younger workers don't perform their roles to the best of their ability, but rather that older workers, having found a role that they are happy with, are far less likely to move on to another job. In fact, studies have shown that older workers are far less motivated by money when it comes to changing jobs. This will help to keep the employee turnover rates low, which is a genuine HR bonus, considering the time, money and effort that is required to find, screen and finally train new staff. In addition, they already have a lifetime of working experience, which brings with it a confidence, a patience, good interpersonal skills and an ability to deal with pressure.

The trend for people to work into their later years is not going away; in fact, it is ever increasing. The best HR departments are the ones that recognise this, and understand that hiring older workers can bring huge benefits to their company.


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