Lately, we’ve been covering the many different job seekers that employers should be taking more time to consider. From Millennials, to those with little to no experience, to tattooed employees, we’ve shown that employers have a wealth of talent to choose from.
Which brings us to our next talent pool that’s often left untapped: older job seekers.
In recent years, the number of unemployed older workers has jumped significantly according to an article in the Boston Globe. Since 2007, the number of those 45 and older who have been jobless for more than a year has quadrupled.
The reasons why employers won’t hire older job seekers vary, ranging from the fact that older job seekers are approaching retirement, to their perceived lack of technology skills. In the end, though, these reasons are merely assumptions, and such assumptions can put you at a disadvantage when it comes to finding great talent.
Below, we’ve compiled a couple of reasons why should consider hiring older job seekers. Along the way, we’ll dispel some of the myths that can get in your way.
- Reason 1: Older candidates have more experience.
Perhaps hiring a candidate with no experience isn’t your thing–so why not hire the candidates with the most experience? Older employees bring with them the many jobs skills they have acquired over the years, and they bring life skills, as well. John Meyers, CEO of Arise Virtual Solutions, sees the value in hiring older employees, stating, “Having someone who is more senior, who has had some life scars, makes them much better at interacting with people…This is a chance for them to use the skills that they have built up over their life.”
- That brings us to our first myth: Older employees aren’t good with technology.
Sure, they may be out of touch with some technology, but what makes you think that older employees aren’t willing to learn? According to Moira McGarvey, founder of the retirement planning site GangsAway!, and former executive recruiter, this is “patently false.” She argues that “You can find 20-somethings who are stuck in their ways and 70-somethings who are early adopters. That isn’t an age thing, it’s a personality thing.”
- Reason 2: Older employees tend to be more loyal.
Unlike their Millennial counterparts, Boomers and Generation Xs have been known to stay much longer at a company, meaning that you don’t have worry about them skipping out and taking their skills elsewhere.
- Which brings us to our second myth: Older employees will retire shortly after being hired.
This one seems like a no brainer. However, with the retirement age being pushed back further and further, older job seekers are now looking to stay engaged rather than cashing in, and as we mentioned above, Millennials are the ones with the penchant for moving on while older generations tend be more loyal. So why not give credit where credit is due?
Every generation has it perks, so why not take advantage of them?
Every talent pool has sometime to offer, regardless of whatever stereotypes may be present about how that talent pool works or what makes them tick. Older job seekers are no exception, and considering them for your open positions when others don’t could help you land some of the best talent around.