Is your business hiring? Many companies are — in fact, an employment report released by the U.S. Department of Labor earlier this month revealed that nonfarm payrolls increased by 390,000 in May, and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%.
As the job market continues to feel the impact of “the Great Resignation,” the competition for talent remains fierce. One area of the hiring pool that many businesses overlook is older workers. If your company still has open positions, consider the possibility of filling them with workers age 55 and up.
Strengths to look for
Although it’s true that many Baby Boomers have retired, and a few members of Generation X might soon be joining them, plenty of older workers remain available to provide value to the right company.
They offer many benefits. For starters, they’ve lived and worked through many economic ups and downs, so the word “budget” tends to keenly resonate with them. In addition, many are well connected in their fields and can reach out to helpful resources right away. Seasoned workers tend to be self-motivated and need little supervision, too.
How to welcome them
Adding older employees to a workforce predominantly staffed by Gen Xers, Millennials and perhaps members of Generation Z (currently the youngest group) can present challenges to your company culture. However, there are ways to welcome older workers while easing the transition for everyone.
First, ensure internal communications emphasize inclusivity. If you’re concerned that your existing culture might hinder the onboarding process for older workers, begin addressing the potential obstacles before hiring anyone, if possible. Reassure current employees that you’ll continue to value their contributions and empower their career paths.
Second, consider involving other staff members in the hiring process. For example, you could ask those who will work directly with a new hire to sit in on the initial job interviews. You’ll likely experience less resistance if an older employee’s co-workers are involved from the beginning. Just be sure that every participant understands proper interviewing techniques to avoid legal problems.
Third, as appropriate and feasible, offer training to managers who might suddenly find themselves supervising employees with many more years of work experience. Learning to listen to an older worker’s suggestions while sticking to the company’s strategic objectives and operational procedures isn’t always easy.
Finally, consider a mentorship program. Bringing in new employees of a different age group is an opportune time to investigate the potential benefits of mentoring. By pairing newly hired older workers with younger staff members, you could see both groups learn from each other — and the business grow as a result.
A welcome addition
Older workers are often a welcome addition to many companies — and not just as full-time employees. They tend to fit in well as part- or flex-time workers as well. Need help? We can assist you, contact us when assessing this idea or other ways to improve the cost-effectiveness of your hiring efforts.