In a recent news item, the ABC reported that recruiters discriminate against older workers. They interview a mature age worker who said his confidence ‘had begun to take a hit because after over 100 job applications, and 30 final round interviews, the feedback was always the same—he wasn’t a cultural fit’. This can be code for employers wanting younger candidates, the ABC concluded.
At f2f we don’t discriminate against any jobseeker, including mature age workers. As expert recruiters we know there are many benefits to hiring this demographic and we work hard to place these candidates. That includes one who was 78 (case study) who settled into her new role beautifully. Her employer was glad they invested in experience.
Here are some of the benefits of hiring mature age workers.
By experience, we’re not only talking position-specific hard skills, which can often be learned, but soft skills like maturity, wisdom, emotional intelligence and life experience. These are all important attributes in today’s constantly changing work environment.
All workforces benefit from diversity in employee attributes, age being one. A mature age worker can often share their experience with younger workers, supporting them to think in different ways about problem solving. This will lesson anxiety within a younger workforce which is on the rise.
Mature-age workers have long-term loyalty and aren’t going to jump ship at the nearest opportunity. This provides stability in a workplace that may have a higher percentage of Millennials keen to move quickly up the ladder by shifting positions often. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment says that ‘mature age workers are 2.4 times more likely to remain with an employer, get ill less often, take fewer sick days and are quicker to come back to work after being ill.’
Leadership and communications skills are key in the workplace and mature-age workers, having ‘been around for some time’, have learned a thing or two about what it means to be a strong leader and will lead by example. They’re also typically happy to share skills and knowledge with colleagues, including younger colleagues.
Strong work ethic
Mature-age workers have developed strong work ethics over many years. They’re willing to put in extra effort and work hard for their pay cheque. They understand they’re part of a team and are enthusiastic about contributing.
Many reasons exist for mature-age workers to remain in a job and this is usually very clear in their minds. It could be they want only a certain level of responsibility as they move into retirement. It could be they want to top up their superannuation before existing. It could be they just want to be busy with interesting work, to keep their minds stimulated. Having employees who are clear on where they’re at and what they want supports stability in the workplace.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment says the net benefit to employers of a worker aged 45 and over (compared to the rest of the workforce) is $1,956 per year. On its website, the Department says that ‘for business, a work culture that supports older workers can lead to improved productivity, competitiveness and client satisfaction.’
Wage subsidies are available to help your business hire and keep new employees. Your business may be eligible for government funding of up to $10,000 for hiring a mature aged worker who is 50 years of age and over.
Big tip for mature age workers
Sign up with a professional recruitment company (our service is free for all jobseekers). Their recruiters will be able to help you present your skills and experience to match the job specifications. They can also help prepare you for interview.
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