According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , the 55 and up group, AKA the Baby Boomer generation, is the fastest growing segment of the workforce. In fact, this year, Baby Boomers will make up roughly 43% of the labor force population.
Looking at these numbers, most employers will almost definitely receive a resume or two from someone older than themselves. Will they take the typical perspective and not give these older candidates a second thought? Or will they recognize the benefits these more experienced employees offer and give them serious consideration?
Working for the Sake of Working
In a Harvard Business Review blog post, Wharton professor Peter Cappelli stated that three-fourths of people approaching retirement age would actually like to keep working, but only one-quarter of them do.
What is stopping the other two-quarters from punching that time clock 5 days a week? As Cappelli exclaims, “Something is keeping them from working, and that something is on the employer side.”
Let’s try to understand this a bit better… You have a group of people who have worked hard all their lives and are now able to retire and take it easy, but they would rather keep on working?? And since they want to show up to work each day, senior employees tend to be in cheerier moods than perhaps others who would rather take it easy but have to work to pay the bills.
Beyond a good work ethic and lovely disposition, there are some other reasons today’s employers should stop discriminating against older candidates:
Older Employees Bring Vast Experience
Many employers put too much emphasis on the over-50 crowd being behind the curve when it comes to technology. But those skills can be taught.
What employers should be focusing on are the years of experience that an older employee brings to the table. No amount of employee training will give a younger employee that same experience.
Older Employees are Self-Assured
With decades of experience under their belt, older workers tend to be more self-assured than their younger counterparts. When you have to send someone to pitch your new products to C-level executives, the 55-year-old is naturally confident, personable and able to close the deal.
Older Employees are Reliable
With maturity comes reliability. You won’t have to worry about the over-50 crowd calling in sick or chronically showing up to work late. Remember, the older employees are choosing to work and actually want to show up each day and do a great job.
Older Employees are Loyal Employees
Older employees are thrilled to be hired. They have no desire to climb any kind of ladder and will not bolt in a year and a half when a better career opportunity comes along. Also, because their kids are grown and the nest is empty, older employees aren’t conflicted between splitting their work/family time.
Older Employees Make Better Decisions
A scientific study has shown that a lifetime of acquiring knowledge and making decisions gives older people an edge when it comes to making decision on the job. The decisions employees make each moment of the day ultimately have ramifications on a company’s workflow, processes, brand reputation and bottom line.
The next time a resume lands in your inbox, don’t be so quick to delete it when you figure out the candidate’s older age. Remember how much experience, confidence, reliability, loyalty and good decision-making skills these older people will bring to your organization.
While you change your perspective, we at ZAPHIRE are working on a blind hiring solution to help eliminate bias and discrimination during the hiring process. We want everyone to get a fair chance to get their opportunity. When human biases comes in between humanity and opportunity, the system we’ve designed will deflect them.