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Looking for experience when recruiting employees? Consider older workers

Posted by Scott Fiore on October 25, 2018

With the low unemployment rate coinciding with many older adults working longer, it would be wise to be more open to the skills of well-experienced workers when recruiting employees.

The unemployment rate in southcentral Pennsylvania ranges from 3.7 to 4.2 percent, and businesses remain challenged by the difficulty of finding skilled workers. At the same time, employees age 55 and up have been the fastest-growing segment of the American labor force for more than 20 years. The U.S. Department of Labor expects this trend to continue through 2026.

A 2016 Gallup poll showed that one in every three employed adults intends to work until age 68 or older. But despite the tight labor market, many of them have been downsized from their jobs and have had difficulty finding a new one.

Include qualified older workers in your plans for recruiting employees

About 60 percent of older workers who lose their jobs retire involuntarily because they can’t find new ones, according to a report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. So, why don’t they want to retire early? Of course, some older persons need to work for financial reasons, but not all. Some prefer to keep working because they are healthy and like what they do. It may give them a sense of purpose or surround them with people whose company they enjoy.

Seasoned workers may choose to take jobs that are less physically demanding or less stressful, even if it means a cut in pay, while many are willing to work part time. But, not all are given those opportunities. Many older workers say their employers don’t want employees working past 65, and that claim is supported by a recent national survey of about 1,800 employers and 6,400 workers.

Employers who are trying to find candidates and don’t seriously consider older job applicants could be risking a law suit. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, signed into law in 1967, provides equal employment opportunity for Americans 40 and older and prevents age-based discrimination against them.

But these employers could be hurting their business as well when positions are open that older workers could be filling. As part of their experience, older employees often have an edge in knowing how to relate well to customers and clients.

A common stereotype of older workers is that they are less willing to accept new ideas and processes. Not true, says the Society for Human Resource Management: “… contrary to what many believe, there is no relationship between age and loss of innovation or overall job performance. In fact, older workers appear to be more comfortable with change than their Millennial counterparts.”

Recruiting employees (of all ages) is what we do. Contact us with your challenge

At TriStarr, our number of older recruits has been growing, and we have found them to be capable, hard-working and positive. You might want to reconsider your ideas on age and employment and be more open to retaining and hiring workers 55 and up who have the skills and experience you need.

Here at TriStarr, we find candidates who are a great fit almost every time. Our recruitment employment agency stands by our Good People Guarantee. If a client isn’t pleased with a new hire, we will replace the person with another candidate at no cost or provide a refund.

TriStarr is a recruitment agency (and HR consulting and temp staffing firm) in Lancaster, Pa., also serving York, Harrisburg, Hershey and Reading. If you would like help with finding the right candidates in a tough job market, contact us online to talk with a recruiter or call us at (717) 560-2111.