Enough about millennials! There are many advantages to having older workers and, in turn, more experience in one’s organization. An HR manager and organizational consultant talks about the strengths of employing older workers.
Here are 7 reasons to hire or retain them within your business.
- Team building
“We realize that there is a need in business for experienced workers who will play a cornerstone role within a team. They help strengthen the team by mentoring younger, more excitable workers,” states Eric Damato, organizational consultant at Profil Évaluation Carrière.
“Older workers know the industry and know their business,” says Alexandre Fausse, HR Director at Kerry, a multinational food company. “They become a valuable resource for the company. We turn to them when we want to develop a mentoring or internal training program.”
When recruiting, Fausse underlines the attractiveness of a person who has an established network of contacts. “When I hire a vendor, sometimes with a whole network of customers in a given area which caters to a specific clientele, for sure it's very interesting for us.”
- Low turnover
“Older workers know better,” says the director. “They tend to know their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their limitations and work capacity.”
“They will apply for jobs or take positions they know they can carry out. The turnover rate is, in my opinion, much lower among experienced workers. They know what they are getting themselves into.”
- Availability, flexibility and mobility
Damato has noticed a lower rate of absenteeism among senior workers. “In my experience, older workers are absent less frequently because they have fewer family responsibilities.”
For his part, Fausse notes that mobility and flexibility are characteristics present at both ends of the spectrum. “In their twenties, workers have less family obligations, which translates into being very available and very flexible. Then, when their children leave home, they become more flexible and mobile.”
- An agent of change
“Older workers have some wisdom,” states Alexandre Fausse. “They've seen it all. So, when we want to implement change in the organization, this is not the first time that they’ve lived through it and they adapt quickly.”
- Defusing conflict
“They also have a greater detachment,” says the director. “This detachment allows them to quickly defuse conflict before it escalates.”
If such a thing is even possible, adds Eric Damato, older workers have “maturity and judgment that cannot be bought.”
So time to take advantage!