The fastest-growing segment of the American workforce is employees age 65 and older.
Wow, right? And you thought we’d say millennials.
So, why is this happening?
Well, among other things, we’re all living longer and more workers are delaying claiming Social Security benefits to maximize payouts. It’s no surprise. No one, after all, wants to burn through their retirement savings early.
McDonald’s recognized the trend when it announced a partnership with AARP and AARP Foundation to hire people 50 and older to help fill the chain’s 250,000 summer openings.
We’re all having trouble filling openings, so if you haven’t yet, perhaps a good strategy to consider would be to focus on recruiting older workers.
There are several misconceptions about older workers and the attributes they bring to the workplace. Older workers can bring management skills, leadership skills, communication skills, empathy — qualities that keep developing as we age.
Below are five reasons why hiring older workers can help you maintain a reliable, dedicated workforce and provide a significant cost savings for both the short- and long-term.
- Punctuality seems to be a given for older workers. Most of them look forward to going to work each day, so they’re likely to arrive on time and be ready to work.
- Older workers tend to be detail-oriented, focused and attentive — adding an intangible value that rubs off on all employees and can save you money. Age diversity, we should note, improves organizational performance. Studies have found that the productivity of both older and younger workers is higher in companies with mixed-age work teams.
- They are good listeners and, as such, easier to train. They also have honed those critical-thinking skills that can help them make solid decisions in a timely fashion without hand-holding and second-guessing.
- Speaking of training, we all know how expensive it is to screen, hire and train employees. But how often do employees leave for a shiny, higher-paying new position at the drop of the hat? That’s far less common among older workers.
- They bring maturity thanks to years of work experience and get less rattled when problems occur. You want your employees to be poised and self-assured, right?