Are Senior Citizens Solid Recruits?

Could older workers be an asset when recruiting new talent?

Older employees are often overlooked in favor of younger staff that oftentimes proves more tech- savvy, but in fact older workers offer many advantages to your business.

So just why should your business consider older employees?

Wealth of Experience

One of the first things to consider when it comes to older workers is the wealth of experience they can bring to your workforce. No matter how comprehensive your training program, nothing can replicate years of experience.

When you employ an older worker, you gain an employee who has learned their craft inside out.

They'll likely bring some new ideas to your business, making you think about the best way to do things.

You'll be able to learn from their long-ago mistakes and triumphs. 

Older employees' added experience means that once your employee knows their way around their new role and your company, you are likely to feel able to trust them to do their job well.

Understanding of Working Culture

As the article "Working Past 65 - Sometimes It Is Good for Your Health; Sometimes Bad" says, nearly four in 10 Americans plan to still be working past the age of 65.

That gives your business a pool of potential employees who know their way around working culture.

Older employees have logged plenty of years in offices and workplaces, and they know a thing or two about getting by in them.  

Longer experience in the work place means older employees have a good sense of when to speak up, and when to stay quiet. They're likely to have a good grasp of office politics and are more likely to stay away from gossip and drama mongering.

Better Communication Skills

It's easy to think younger workers are a whiz with communications, being so connected and having an understanding of social media. In fact, older employees often have better communication skills than their younger counterparts.

Hailing from a time when office communication was memos and meetings, not Facebook and telecommuting, means older employees are used to talking face to face with people.

They're likely to be comfortable communicating at different levels, and competent when it comes to getting their point across. 

Loyalty and Work Ethic

One of the biggest advantages to employing older workers is their loyalty.

Unlike some younger team members, older workers are more likely to settle into their job and look to stay until it's time to retire. They don't tend to be out looking for the next big opportunity.

Many older employees have also had plenty of time to develop a strong work ethic.

They come from a generation that valued a good day's work for a good day's pay, and it shows in their attitude to doing the job and doing it well.

Good Mentor Material

All of the above adds up to another strong advantage for your business:

Older employees make excellent mentors. Older employees can set an excellent example for the younger members of your team.

Working alongside older employees can be beneficial to younger team members, and you can also engage them in more formal mentorship roles where they can pass on their skills and wisdom.

Insurance Issue

One thing you may be concerned about with hiring older employees is the potential for greater insurance premiums. There's no doubt that the age of your workforce can affect your premiums, so insurance is a genuine concern. 

The good news is that an older employee doesn't necessarily mean they will make more claims, as age doesn't necessarily mean declining health.

Older employees also tend to take less sick days, and sometimes even less holiday, and are unlikely to have children who need to be added to their insurance.

If your recruiting efforts would benefit from having employees who can bring a wealth of experience and provide excellent examples for the rest of the team, look to the older generation.

They're a worthwhile investment for many businesses.

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About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a range of topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to find the right employees for your business.

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