While economies across the globe have historically sought to create young and energetic workforces, some governments and businesses are beginning to recognize the importance of older employees. Why is that?
Benefits of hiring older staff
Age bias is unfortunately still a part of recruitment and affects older professionals who are searching for a new position. It is seen as a disadvantage to hire mature staff, while it can actually be very beneficial.
- Experience, skills and training
Older employees have usually spent many years learning their trade and gained valuable experience in a particular field of work. They may therefore require less training and are able to understand tasks much more quickly than inexperienced employees could. Businesses invest a lot of money in training and reskilling their employees – knowledgeable staff could reduce these costs and even be able to teach others within the company.
- Equal opportunities
Providing equal opportunities to candidates applying for a job is not only addressed by the Equality Act 2010 but it also creates a much healthier work environment. Employees of various ages can contribute in different ways and don’t necessarily share the same experiences. This makes it a lot easier for companies to stay ahead of the competition. Especially businesses dealing with certain age demographics should consider hiring staff of that same age group, in order to understand their customers better.
- Lower turnaround rate
People who join a company or organisation in later years could be more likely to remain in the job longer, which could help lower turnaround rates. Young employees tend to switch employers quite often, since they are looking to build their careers and experience working for different brands. An employee who has already worked for several years is not necessarily as interested in switching to a new and exciting start-up and may instead remain loyal to their current employer.
Things to keep in mind:
The workplace should be easy to access and use for employees of all ages. When implementing safety measures, ensure the correct footwear is being worn in order to avoid accidents. If there are long flights of steps in your company, provide access to the offices through an elevator instead of a staircase, if possible. This can make it easier for older employees to enter and exit the building. If you are unsure which equipment to provide, speak to your HR department. Other investments to consider are ergonomic chairs and comfortable workspaces.
The rules for retirement plans and pension contributions may be different for mature employees. As an employer, you should understand the requirements and contributions that need to be made. Many employees are staying in the workforce longer today than they used to, which is why most HR departments are familiar with the necessary retirement rules.
Older employees can be a great addition to any company and provide benefits that younger staff can’t.