When you imagine the qualities you want from an employee, it is most likely that dependable, hard-working, organised and focussed spring to mind. So when recruiting new talent, why is it that so many older workers who embody most, if not all of these qualities are being ignored?
It is popular at the moment to focus on recruiting young, fresh talent who can add a new dimension to the workforce, but in doing so you are neglecting a wealth of professional knowledge that can only come from workers who have accrued years of expert experience. Whilst the millennial generation may hold the advantage of technological prowess, older workers bring forth a predisposed set of skills that cannot be taught or replaced. It is important to note, that age is a protected characteristic under The Equality Act 2010, therefore if job applicants feel as though they have been discriminated against based on their age it can lead to potential tribunal claims.
From an employer’s perspective older workers can add rich value and culture to any workplace, most notably in the area of internal communication. Not only do older workers harbour the ability to diplomatically respond to sensitive issues at work, but they are also confident in expressing themselves and their ideas to their colleagues and senior management in a professional and seasoned manner. This demonstrates a heightened level of maturity that only comes from years of life and business experience.
Older workers are also beneficial to the workplace in that they make excellent mentors and role models to their fellow colleagues. More specifically, their engrained knowledge provides older workers with a greater understanding of how to effectively run a business, in addition to the processes, in which workplace can be managed and made more efficient. This is invaluable for employers and their management teams who face time restraints due to constant busy schedules, and therefore cannot spend the necessary time with each employee training them in all aspects of the business.
Another asset that older workers bring to the workforce is commitment and loyalty. Having already found their professional niche and moved past the stage in life of wanting to experience what different jobs have to offer, older workers tend to be more cemented and satisfied in their positions. This is great for businesses as it means that they will have to hire less frequently, saving on recruitment costs, whilst retaining skilled employees who will help grow business prospects.
As the UK population grows older, more and more older workers will be in employment or looking for employment. It would be beneficial for employers to take heed of this opportunity and utilise the skills that this demographic has to offer. Not only will it make for a more diverse workforce, but a more flexible and well-rounded set of employees.
For advice on this subject then please contact the Peninsula Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.