“It’s difficult to find good workers now.” I have heard this repeatedly over the last few years. With the unemployment rate 4.1%, it is only becoming more difficult to find good employees. It seems older workers are being overlooked. However, this is not lost on the big businesses like UPS, Target or Macy’s. They recruit looking for mature workers. Businessinsider.com states, “Fifty-four percent of workers older than 65 are still employed because they want to be – not because they need the money.” And the website found 54% of workers age 65 and older say they are completely satisfied with their jobs compared to just 29% of workers ages 16 to 64! The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates by 2020 approximately 25% of the workforce will be age 55 or older.
Why do these retirees’ want to continue working? They want to stay physically active, stay mentally alert and want to feel productive and useful. These folks are called “boomerangers.”
Why hire an older employee? Below you will find some reasons.
• They are loyal. You have spent countless hours and financial resources into interviewing, hiring and training new employees. Generally, you find many employees leave for greener pastures after a few months. Research shows the length of time an employee stays on the job increases with the age at which the worker began the job.
• They have a good work ethic. The baby boomer generation has grown up watching their parents. That generation suffered through the Depression and they learned to do without and work hard. There is pride in a job well done. Younger workers for the most part only work to put their time in to get paid. Older workers have worked their entire life and are focused on getting the job done.
• They are mature. I know this states the obvious. Maturity comes from years of life and work experience. The mature employees get less rattled when problems occur. They can communicate not only with fellow workers but also with the customers as well. They will have no problem sharing their ideas with you, their boss! As an employer, a good listener is difficult to find.
• They can set an example. You can use them as role models for your younger employees. Most older workers look forward to going to work each day so they arrive on time and are ready to work. They are loyal, reliable and dependable. In addition, what a bonus it would be to not to have to worry whether your employee is showing up to work their shift.
• They are efficient and detail-oriented. Remember these people have worked for years. They have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. When you explain the job, they will follow your instructions. However, keep in mind they may share a way of doing things that seems better to them. If you don’t agree, they will continue to do it your way.
• They will help you reduce labor costs. There is a HUGE benefit when hiring older workers. They already have a health plan. They will usually accept a lower wage if you are offering a job they want. They understand that working for a company is more than just a paycheck. With a more mature employee, there is less turnover. Most are working for only a part time job. For the reasons listed above these employees can make a positive impact on your bottom line.
One drawback is the old worker is not as “tech savvy” as your younger employees. But…you will not find them on their cell phones constantly!
You can start looking for these candidates at the local senior centers. If you are active in your community, put the word out. You will be surprised with what you will discover. And this will make your job so much easier.