12 Benefits of Hiring Older Workers
Employees. They're the one thing that businesses everywhere have a need for. And not just employees, but employees who are honest, responsible, dependable, loyal, focused, organized and mature.
Is this too much to ask?
U.S. employers spends millions of man hours each year placing ads, prescreening and interviewing candidates, and hiring and training workers, only to find that many of the employees they hire work for them for just a few months only to decide they don't want to "just be a clerk anymore" or feel "something better's come along" as they work their way up the corporate ladder.
So where can businesses find a dependable, steady workforce that has no plans to move up and out? A workforce dedicated to the job at hand and that takes pride in its work? Who will cost them less to hire, train and maintain?
The answer? Older workers.
Below are twelve reasons why hiring older workers can help you maintain a reliable, dedicated workforce and provide a significant cost savings for both the short and long term.
1. Dedicated workers produce higher quality work, which can result in a significant cost savings for you. Stories abound of highly committed older workers finding others' potentially costly mistakes regarding everything from misspelling of client names to pricing errors and accounting mistakes.
2. Punctuality seems to be a given for older workers. Most of them look forward to going to work each day, so they're likely to arrive on time and be ready to work.
3. Honesty is common among older workers, whose values as a group include personal integrity and a devotion to the truth.
4. Detail-oriented, focused and attentive workers add an intangible value that rubs off on all employees and can save your business thousands of dollars. One business owner I know once told me that one of his older workers saved his company more than $50,000 on one large mailing job. The 75-year-old clerical worker recognized that all the ZIP codes were off by one digit. Neither the owner's mailing house nor his degreed and highly paid marketing manager had noticed it.
5. Good listeners make great employees because they're easier to train--older employees only have to be told once what to do.
6. Pride in a job well done has become an increasingly rare commodity among younger employees. Younger workers want to put in their time at work and leave, while older employees are more willingly to stay later to get a job done because of their sense of pride in the final product.
7. Organizational skills among older workers mean employers who hire them are less likely to be a part of this startling statistic: More than a million man hours are lost each year simply due to workplace disorganization.
8. Efficiency and the confidence to share their recommendations and ideas make older workers ideal employees. Their years of experience in the workplace give them a superior understanding of how jobs can be done more efficiently, which saves companies money. Their confidence, built up through the years, means they won't hesitate to share their ideas with management.
9. Maturity comes from years of life and work experience and makes for workers who get less "rattled" when problems occur.
10. Setting an example for other employees is an intangible value many business owners appreciate. Older workers make excellent mentors and role models, which makes training other employees less difficult.
11. Communication skills--knowing when and how to communicate--evolve through years of experience. Older workers understand workplace politics and know how to diplomatically convey their ideas to the boss.
12. Reduced labor costs are a huge benefit when hiring older workers. Most already have insurance plans from prior employers or have an additional source of income and are willing to take a little less to get the job they want. They understand that working for a company can be about much more than just collecting a paycheck.
Any business owner who's hesitant to hire an older worker should consider these twelve benefits. Older workers' unique skills and values--and the potential savings to your company in time and money--make hiring them a simple matter of rethinking the costs of high turnover in a more youthful workforce vs. the benefits of experience and mature standards older workers bring to the mix. You simply do not have the time or resources to deal with high employee turnover. The next time you need to make a hiring decision, you should seriously consider older workers: Their contribution to your company could positively impact your bottom line for years to come.
Stephen Bastien isa business consultant and an expert on leadership and managing employees. He's the author of Yes, One Person Can Make a Difference and Born to Be. Having started several successful businesses, his current venture, Bastien Financial Publications, provides businesses with the latest developments on fast-growing and distressed companies nationwide through his daily newsletters. Visit his site for more information on his financial publications, books or consulting services.