With 11 million jobs unfilled in the US and not enough young people to fill them, older workers are increasingly essential to keep the economy running efficiently. But ageism is a barrier to filling those jobs for many people over 55. A recent study found that 78% of older adults have seen or experienced ageism. The business community must play an active role in overcoming ageism and realizing that the older adult demographic is a valuable untapped resource. With the proper training, they can contribute to the workplace in an impactful way. Many older adult workers bring experience, wisdom, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to share their knowledge and skills with younger workers.
People born after 1946 have a higher education level than any previous generation. They've been through multiple economic cycles, from the first dot-com boom to the Great Recession, and they've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't when it comes to business.
This population offers an opportunity for businesses to capitalize on their knowledge by making them an integral part of their teams.
Older workers have experience, knowledge, and connections
People in the Baby Boomer generation have worked an average of 12.4 jobs over the course of their careers. That means they have years of valuable experience that employers can leverage. Their diverse knowledge gives them a broader perspective than younger employees just starting their careers.
In addition, they often have strong networks. They've made professional connections during their decades in the workforce, which can be helpful for companies looking to grow their reach or expand into new markets.
Older workers have leadership skills
Older workers offer opportunities for intergenerational mentorship and may benefit younger employees' leadership skills. The best way for the next generation of leaders to learn how to be effective leaders is by learning from those who came before them. Businesses that have mixed-age working teams have seen productivity contributions rise significantly.
Older workers have soft skills
With their strong interpersonal skills, they’re able to interact with different kinds of people. They are also high in emotional intelligence, which makes them an incredibly valuable asset to any company.
Older workers are often better equipped to deal with conflict if something goes wrong between coworkers or clients because they know how to calmly talk through the problem without getting too emotional about it.
Older workers are reliable and have a strong work ethic
Older workers are perceived as having a stronger work ethic than younger generations. They can typically be trusted to do the job with minimal supervision, which means you can get more done in less time. This is because they have been around long enough to see how things work and know that if they do their best at their job, it will benefit everyone involved.
Older workers are here to make an impact. Their unique set of skills and knowledge, both quantifiable and subjective, are just the tools many companies are looking for, but unfortunately they are often brushed over by bots searching resumes and when younger people are interviewers. Employers who reach out to this demographic and value their assets will reap the benefits.
To learn more, please visit GetSetUp Jobs and reach out to us to discuss how we can work together to elevate experienced workers 55+ in your hiring efforts.