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Hiring Older Workers

Written by: Charmie Torres, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Gender, culture, and racial biases have always been hot topics in human resources management. But the biggest and often the most problematic type of prejudice we face is partiality when it comes to age. We often gauge applicants based on age. And for many countries, this has become a major challenge.

The magic age where age-related discrimination has been reported are those between 47 to 74. This age group is considered less able to adapt, less inclined to learn with younger colleagues, and less proficient.


While there is some grain of truth about teaching old dogs new tricks, there is something to be had from older workers too. We know that mental capacity declines after the age of 30. But the main predictors of job performance, expertise/experience, and knowledge continue even beyond the age of 70.


Now think about how team output can be maximized if we increase cognitive diversity. What happens when people who bring different abilities, experiences, and skillsets to the table work in an orchestrated fashion? There is something to be had from someone who has been part of the workforce for 20, 30, or even 40 years.


5 actions you can take as an employer

1. Offer mentor roles

Give your older workers mentor, supervisory, or managerial roles. This allows them to share and put their expertise to use.


2. Be inclusive

Prep your recruiters, as well as the younger set in your organization. Many older workers complain about exclusion in the workplace. It's an illegal practice that can result in legal action. Instead, teach your team members (as well as recruiters) not to discriminate based on age. Most important, coach both the older and younger set with bias management. There will definitely be a generation gap. But managing it by issuing guidelines on what to avoid (banter on politics, religion, sexual identity, etc), can foster better communication.


3. Let them contribute

Let the older people contribute their expertise. You need not offer higher pay. Giving older people the appropriate title and role (that match their experience and skillset) allows them to freely share their field of expertise.


4. Accommodate!

Offer accessible work areas (for instance, larger fonts on labels) and other productivity tools that can accommodate their needs.


5. Consider level

Consider level, not tenure, when it comes to pay. Unless the older person has more experience and skills that translate to a measurable value for the company, be comfortable giving less money to an older person if they’re new to the job.


Conclusion

Retirement doesn’t diminish a person’s desire to work. I’ve met many retirees who are quite driven. If you’re able to create a fair, inclusive, and fulfilling environment for your team members, brace yourself for innovation, clear engagement, and measurable gains in the long run.


For more information, visit my website and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!


 

Charmie Torres, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Charmie Torres is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Löngun, a business process outsourcing company. Löngun was conceived in 2018 in response to clients who needed more than accounting services. Born and raised in the Philippines and studied in one of the top universities in the UK, Charm aims to bridge both worlds to develop a diverse work culture and environment. “It was a knee-jerk reaction to offer administrative, virtual assistance, and graphic design services as well because this is what many of our customers needed to grow their ventures.” With a team of well-rounded and experienced professionals (a motley crew of accountants, customer service professionals, technical experts, graphic artists, and administrative personnel), Löngun’s mission is to help business owners focus on scaling their business by taking care of the company’s non-core activities and streamline their workflow. Also, serve as a catalyst for her Filipino employees to reach their fullest potential.

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