Tips for Hiring Older Workers

December 23, 2016 Pete Jansons

They bring knowledge, loyalty, professionalism, and great communication skills to the table. But even as small business employers realize the benefits of hiring older workers for their organization, individuals past age 50 who want to go back to work may still feel that they don’t have good chances of landing a decent job. Prove them wrong — and give your small business a boost at the same time — by focusing your hiring efforts and targeting workers from this group with these tips:

Advertise to their needs

Priorities often change over the course of a lifetime. While younger workers may be looking for positions focused on mobility and promotion, older ones frequently put an emphasis on social interaction and mental stimulation. Grab the attention of these job seekers by promoting the family-like atmosphere of your small business staff and the constant need to tackle new challenges to help the company grow.

Also, erase their fears of being labeled “overqualified” by creating job ads that show your small business puts a premium on experience. Try searching for “mature individuals with a track record of grace under pressure” or “seasoned professionals capable of wearing many hats because of their diverse career experiences.”

While salary will still be important to workers of any age, flexibility may be an even stronger lure for candidates over 50. Telecommuting, alternate hours, and other such options enable them to achieve a work-life balance conducive to pursuing various interests at this stage of life. Be sure to highlight if your small business offers such arrangements.

Seek them out

Like their younger counterparts, older job seekers often use social media and job boards to find new opportunities. Consider placing targeted ads that they will see. In posts and on your website, feature photos and profiles of older members of your small business team to help prospective candidates visualize themselves working for you.

Job fairs designed for older workers can be great places for you discover talent. Likewise, post your openings at local establishments (libraries, churches, community centers, etc.), develop relationships with senior organizations, or even consider contacting area school districts to let them know you’d love to connect with retired teachers.

Finally, don’t neglect the power of your own resources. Charities in which you’re involved may have a plethora of devoted volunteers who might be interested in paid work, too. People in your network informed of your diversity efforts may be happy to introduce you to older individuals they know. And employee referrals always have great potential, so encourage your team (especially the older members) to sing the praises of your small business to talented potential workers of any age.


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