The Advantages of Hiring Older Employees
As the American economic recovery moves forward, it’s become increasingly difficult to find employees for our jobs. It’s not hard to find many, many attempted explanations for this labor shortage. People blame everything from increases in unemployment insurance to ongoing pandemic fears. It’s a complicated issue, and there isn’t an easy explanation. There are many factors that contribute to our competitive labor market, but one of the biggest factors has largely gone unnoticed - our employee population is aging at a time when most employers favor hiring younger people. This preference not only limits the pool of potential employees, but it’s also unfair, illegal, and short-sighted, particularly considering the fact that by 2025, fully 25% of the US workforce will be 50 years or older.
Advantages of Hiring Older Employees
It's no secret that our society focuses on young people, and that focus extends to hiring and employment, so much so that the many advantages of hiring older employees are often overlooked. However, employers who are willing to look beyond a potential employee’s age will find that there are many advantages to hiring an older employee.
Everyone you hire will need to be trained, no matter how “tech-savvy” their generation seems to be – and it should be said that people who are in their twenties are often just as challenged by technology as someone in their forties. But it takes more than technical skills to be a good employee. And while you can train someone on how to do a job, you can’t teach someone the kind of skills that are gained from actual hands-on experience. For example, there is no training program that will teach someone how to remain centered and professional when dealing with an angry client. There’s no textbook covering how to deal with a vendor who seems unable to understand directions. Those abilities aren’t taught, they’re earned by time in the workforce. Time in business helps people to learn and develop these skills. Everyone has to start from somewhere, of course, but there are a lot of advantages to hiring someone who has already developed those skills.
The more time someone spends working, the better they get at business communication. People who’ve been in the business world learn how important it is to convey instructions clearly to get work done more efficiently. Older employees have learned the value of diplomacy when it comes to keeping office politics in check. They also have learned how to deliver unpleasant news because they’ve had to do it before. Some people are naturally good communicators, but no amount of talent will ever outweigh the value of experience.
Confidence and Poise
No matter what your career is, all jobs are stressful. Learning how to work through difficulties and drama is a big part of developing and advancing a career. Grace under pressure is another one of those skills that can’t be taught, but must be learned through doing. Whether it’s refusing to be intimidated by a client, managing an important deadline, or simply keeping calm when everyone else on the team is panicking, an older, more experienced worker is likely to be better equipped to meet the challenge.
We group people into generations based on when they were born because their experiences, and thus their outlooks, are similar. This shared experience is great if you’re creating an ad campaign or developing a marketing plan, but outside of those areas, it often leads to limitations for the team. Diversity is strength, and it goes beyond gender, ethnicity, and religion. When you have older employees you benefit from their wisdom and experience.
Being young is about exploring the world. You learn what you like and what you don’t like in all aspects of life, including your career. The opportunity to learn new skills and change career focus is a big part of employee development, especially because younger employees are still finding their career paths.
New employees who are early in their careers are great. They’re typically energetic, ready to learn, and they don’t have a lot of preconceived notions. But when you hire someone at the start of their career, they’re much more likely to change jobs and leave the company than an older, more accomplished employee. Older employees are more likely to stay with your company longer. They’re also more likely to act as a sounding board for their department and team and they often serve as mentors to employees who are less advanced in their careers. Someone who has experience can pass along a lot of knowledge that would otherwise have been learned the hard way.
In the day-to-day world, it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees, to get frustrated by what appears to be slow movement among decision-makers, and to get wrapped up in gossip and other minutiae. Older workers, on the other hand, are people who have a strong understanding of the big picture because they’ve experienced more of it. Due to their professional experience, these employees can provide new insight into what to expect in certain situations. Older employees have a business savvy that younger employees often haven’t developed yet. When you hire an older employee, you add someone to your team who has unique skills and wisdom that make them less likely to be rattled by unusual situations.
Unfortunately, some workplaces are rife with politics and gossip, so much so that employees can become more focused on petty grievances than actual work. This kind of situation can quickly lead to a toxic workplace, one where employees simply don’t want to stay. An effective way of preventing that is to hire older employees. The experience that an older employee brings to your company often gives them the wisdom to stay out of office politics or petty gossip. Instead, older employees tend to concentrate more on work and less on their social lives or the social lives of their co-workers. This maturity can provide an excellent example to other employees.
Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You
Optimum Staffing Solutions can help both candidates and employers with the placement of accounting professionals. For the best staffing agencies in Greensboro, NC, as well as for the best staffing agencies in Charlotte, NC, contact Optimum Staffing Solutions.
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