With all the blogs that have been written about recruiting, engaging and managing the millennial generation, there is often not a lot of emphasis placed on another large chuck of the workforce…the baby boomers.
Many assume that the boomers need no longer be a focal point because they are getting ready to retire. But they make up almost 30% of the work base in the utilities, finance/insurance/real estate, and healthcare /social services industries. In fact, the median age of workers in all industries today is 42.5 years, with 22% of the workforce is over the age of 55. American workers are aging, and those employers who overlook this talent pool do so at their own risk.
The benefits are tangible. Older workers are less likely to exhibit workplace aggression, substance abuse, tardiness and voluntary absences. In most cases, they have superior communication skills, having a remembered a time prior to email, instant messaging and Twitter. And they want to work. A recent 2013 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) survey found that 69 percent of workers expect to work during retirement.
Employers who effectively use these workers will gain a competitive advantage. A recent SHRM report stated that in the next 15 – 25 years the demand for talent will outpace the supply of sufficiently skilled younger workers. This is true across all industries, even IT, where the technological advances often surpass the fiscal budgets for most companies. Therefore, workers are still needed who can support the mainframes and servers that are totally foreign to the millennials.
Recruiting mature workers follows the same process as recruiting workers of any age, but older adults may hesitate to search for employment or change jobs because of experience with age discrimination. So you may have to aggressively market to them to get their attention, and physically go to them to get them to apply. They are the ultimate passive candidate.
To improve your recruiting efforts, here are three tips:
Include baby boomers in your messaging. Explicitly state (in both words and images) in your 1)recruiting message, 2) job postings and 3) application materials that you are looking for workers of all ages. No baby boomer is going to apply if you consistently state you are looking for “energetic, new talent” and show images of auburn-haired recent graduates.
Rehire retirees. Your own ex-workers are a treasure trove of talent, for they hold the keys to the institutional knowledge that “energetic new talent” simply does not have. These workers know your organization…its mission, vision, values, culture and core work. They understand how to get things done from within the 4 walls, because, well, they have done it.
Identify new sources. Focus your recruiting efforts on venues that cater to older workers. Concentrate on community college training programs for older adults. Post jobs on job sites that target older workers and recent retirees, attend career fairs that target older workers and seek partners that recruit older workers.
This is where Snelling can help. In today’s work environment, it can be tough finding the best-fit candidates – with the talent and skill levels you need – for your open jobs. Visit our website to find your local office, where our talent recruiters will work with you to find the best person for your job…no matter the age, no matter the skills needed.