March 23rd, 2017 / Insight posted in Blog

Why aren’t you including older workers as part of your recruitment campaign?

When you recruited for your last role, did you interview anyone aged over 50? According to recent research conducted by Anglia Ruskin University, older jobseekers face higher levels of prejudice when it comes to finding work.

The research found that older applicants, typically over 50 years old, were 21.9% less likely to be invited for an interview, when compared to a candidate under the age of 30, with similar skills and qualifications. These findings match research conducted by TotalJobs which found that 63% of 55-64 year olds felt discriminated against by a prospective employer because of their age. A government document predicted that the number of people over the age of 55 in the UK workforce could be as high as 33% by 2020. Is this statistic reflected in the demographics of your own business?

Considering that the Equality Act was enacted in 2010, it begs the question as to why there is still a big problem with ageism seven years later. What are the benefits of hiring an older worker that business are missing out on? Below are just some of the benefits that these workers could bring to your workforce:

  • Industry knowledge and experience. However, if you are concerned about their lack of technological knowhow, then look to provide support and training as part of your induction program.
  • Higher levels of productivity. According to project management platform Wrike, 34% of over 55s said they operate above 90% of their maximum productivity, compared to just 8% of millennials. They were also able to handle higher volumes of work and are less likely to be off with work-related stress.
  • Support for the organisation’s succession plan. Older workers are the ideal people to share their knowledge and experience with younger workers by way of a mentoring and learning program. Think of them as the Yodas of the business, teaching your young Jedis. Reverse mentoring is also an option, where the younger workers could help older workers who need technological training.

Other benefits may include: dedication, punctuality, honesty, good listening and, organisational skills, confidence and maturity.

So the next time you are recruiting, try to consciously include a broad age range of interviewees, so that when you are deciding on the best person for the role, everyone has been given a fair and equal chance. Perhaps you’ll be surprised by who you end up hiring,  compared to any preconceived ideas you may have had about your ideal candidate.