Discovering People

     

    Seeking a New Breed of Employee?

    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 results.

    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 include:

    • 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 www.sremploy.org

    If you have any questions, human resources issues to discuss or would like to give any feedback in regards to this newsletter, please don't hesitate to email me - Michelle Novotny

     

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