Looking for highly skilled, experienced and reliable
candidates to fill positions? An increasing number of companies are
finding that these employees are more commonly over the age of 45.
Australian employers are only just starting to realise
the value in recruiting older workers. Companies in the US and the UK
have been doing it for years and their experiences have all found the
same thing- mature age workers are more flexible in their working hours,
more open to different environments, have better work ethics, take less
sick days and stay longer at their job.
B&Q, a chain of English do-it-yourself stores, was
having difficulty staffing it stores with entry-level workers, so they
opened up a store with mature employees only.
Not only has the store experienced
increased work force stability (i.e. compared to comparable stores, six
times less employee turnover and 40% less absenteeism,) and improved
customer relations, it has been 18 times as profitable as other similar
stores in the chain.
There have been many other reported cases with similar
However despite this evidence, Australian companies
have been relatively slow to follow this trend. The nations aging
workforce means that employers need to develop strategies to hold on to
and draw older employees, otherwise they risk lacking valuable skills in
the workplace. It is estimated by 2005, about 35% of Australia’s
workforce will be aged over 45.
Some of the benefits of hiring "over 45" employees
- Have had more experience,
- Stronger commitment to quality,
- Better judgement,
- More reliable attendance and punctuality,
- Lower turnover, and
- Won’t be taking maternity leave any time soon!
Although there are so many glowing examples of the
success that businesses have had where they have employed an older
workforce, Australian businesses still seem reluctant to take them on.
Why? Employers still seem to be apprehensive as the mature age workers
continue to be subject to stereotyping. It is often assumed that the
older workforce is less adaptable to new technologies, are at risk of
not being dynamic enough, and are resistant to workplace training.
This is not always the case. The decision to hire
mature age employees, in the end, will save the business money. It’s
simply a better investment.
Source: Seek – Career Resources
Seniors Employment Program