Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Nicole Lewis – freelance writer. Her opinions are her own.
One of the features defining our globalized world is a diverse workforce. Since many large enterprises are now being spread internationally, there is a demand for people belonging to different cultures, nations, and ages gather to work more efficiently as a team.
There is no denying that negative perceptions and stereotypes portraying ‘older workers’ as difficult, slow, expensive and not tech savvy have had an impact on the hiring intentions of employers and recruiters.
Despite research and case studies finding that mature workers actually offer in many cases a better return on investment for business, mature workers face an uphill battle in the recruitment process.
For whatever reason, more mature workers are being neglected or underestimated because of their age. Nevertheless, employers are urged to look more closely at this opportunity and to see that mature workers have a lot to offer.
Mature workers are often associated with a high level of reliability, professionalism and valuable listening skills. Thus, they are qualified and powerful enough to provide competition for the younger generations.
Still not convinced? Here are 6 reasons to consider recruiting a mature worker into your team.
1. Absolute dedication
Mature employees are dedicated and tend to work more efficiently and often have a higher level of productivity. Mature workers love to work and for the most part do their jobs very well and this will save your company money as they won’t make mistakes and might even spot the errors of their younger colleagues.
Older workers also tend to be scrupulous and focused on the task at hand. They tend to see all the details and consequently can determine any slight problems or errors in reports, articles, projects, etc. Such attentiveness might save you in different situations and help you maintain work quality as well as your company’s reputation.
Mature workers are highly devoted to what they are doing. They do their best to meet all the deadlines and feel satisfied and be proud of the results.
2. No tardiness
More mature workers are used to getting up early, and are less likely to stay out late on a week night! Companies accustomed to hiring mature workers always see them get to work early so that they are ready to start on time.
Honesty and sincerity come naturally for most mature workers. It is predefined by their values and strong principles. As the years go by, people tend to realize how important it is to be genuine, especially in the workplace.
Apart from the fact that mature workers have a great deal of experience, they are always willing to share their experience with their younger co-workers as well.
Older workers are generally no longer motivated by ambition, as they have already climbed off the corporate ladder. They are now more often motivated by a desire to share their knowledge with others and your business can benefit greatly from this.
An excellent way to tap into this knowledge is to arrange for a mature age worker to mentor a younger employee. The passing on of wisdom from old to young is a part of every culture around the world and it is equally valuable in the business world.
4. Experienced listeners
To be a good listener is not always easy, especially today when so many of the younger generation have their own (fairly strong) opinions and often want to express them without always listening to others. In this respect, more mature workers are perfect employees as they do listen carefully and therefore can be trained fairly quickly.
5. More flexible
Mature employees generally have more life commitments revolving around extended family, hobbies, volunteer work, holidays and caring for others. So offering them more flexible working hours is a good way to entice them back into the workforce or encourage them to stay with you longer.
The emergence of telecommuting, video conferencing and other advances in communication mean that you can provide mature age workers with the flexibility they want and still be in constant contact.
Bear in mind though that, as with the implementation of any flexible working arrangement, mature age or otherwise, you need to negotiate terms and boundaries, so that productivity and team participation are not compromised and can be effectively measured.
6. Less workplace politics
Mature workers are typically less interested in petty workplace politics. They tend to keep their focus on their work rather than participating in insignificant politics within the organization. Unlike many of their younger colleagues, they are less likely to butter up their managers and bosses to seek their favor. Instead, they tend to prove themselves through their dedication and commitment to their work.
If you are a business owner or employer and if you have been doubtful about hiring older workers, perhaps now you might have changed your mind. Mature candidates must not be neglected or discriminated.
If you are keen to make your organisation mature-age-worker friendly, but not exactly sure how to go about it, here are some tips to help you get started, both in recruiting and retaining talented and experienced older employees.
- Review job advertisements to ensure age-friendly content;
- Avoid words such as dynamic, fast-paced, young;
- Advertise where older people are more likely to see it, such as specialist job boards targeting mature workers;
- Ensure hiring managers are educated on the benefits of hiring mature workers, removing any unconscious bias that may exist;
- Formally acknowledge mature workers in your diversity policy.
- Review your organisation’s workforce age profile; and
- Implement an intergenerational mentor program between employees.