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The Strategic Value of Hiring Senior Citizens

The Strategic Value of Hiring Senior Citizens

By Jenny Barnes on Jun 20, 2024
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We’ve discussed the concept of the “forgotten workforce,” a significant and growing group of individuals, who, despite their eagerness to improve their position in the working world, are either unemployed or underemployed. 

Workers aged 65 or older are a critical subset of the forgotten workforce—one that makes particularly great employees for the companies they join. It’s no secret that we’re living longer and healthier lives, which has a positive effect on how long the average employee can and wants to work. According to Pew Research Center, “The older workforce has nearly quadrupled in size since the 1980s” and shows no signs of slowing down. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the strategic value of hiring senior citizens. We’ll also touch on how your business can find, welcome, and retain these workers. In the end, we’ll show you where to turn for help building out or refining your recruitment, engagement, and employee relations strategies. 

age discrimination at work

Hiring Senior Citizens: What the Data Has to Say 

There are a lot of myths circulating about hiring senior citizens—including that they’re not worth investing training resources in, that they’re not interested in full-time work, or that they’re just counting the days until they can retire. Understanding the realities and benefits of bringing older workers on board can help you determine the likely ROI of hiring senior citizens for yourself. 

What misconceptions might your company be holding about this segment of the workforce? Consider the following data: 

  • More Education

    Older workers tend to have more education than they did in the past (according to the Pew Research Center). 
  • Less Likely to Have a Disability

    Older workers are less likely to have a disability than they did in the past (according to 2023 research from the University of Toronto). 
  • Modern Retirement Plans Encourage Workers to Stay in the Game Longer

    The design of retirement plans for workers is less likely to encourage early retirement than they did in the past, as most employers move away from pensions and toward defined contribution plans like 401(k)s (according to Pew Research Center). 
  • Social Security Ages Are Rising

    The design of governmental assistance programs for workers is less likely to encourage early retirement than they did in the past, with the eligibility age to receive full retirement benefits now beginning at 67 (according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics). 
  • It’s Easier for Older Workers to Keep Their Jobs

    As work becomes less physically demanding in developed countries, including the United States, later retirement has been made more possible (according to the National Bureau of Economic Research). 
  • Older Workers Are Staying Sharp

    The vast majority of older workers still want to learn new skills and participate in training opportunities, and two thirds of older workers have pursued training to learn new skills in the past two years (according to a recent AARP survey). 
  • Hiring Senior Citizens Is More “Normal” Now Than Ever

    Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that adults aged 65 and above will make up 8.6% of the country’s workforce in 2032, where they made up 6.6% in 2022. 
  • They’re Not Just Looking for Part-Time Work 

    Actually, research produced by the Federal Reserve found that older adults were less likely to go after “gig” or “freelance” style work than younger adults. 

Hiring Employees with Disabilities

How to Start Hiring Senior Citizens (and How to Retain Them Long-Term)

We know that data shows the benefits of hiring senior citizens, but there are countless intangible advantages, too. Older workers bring invaluable wisdom and a breadth and depth of experience to the workplace that can make all the difference to a small to mid-sized business. Are you ready to start hiring senior citizens? Here are some tips to keep in mind to bolster your recruitment and retention efforts: 

  • Review Your Job Descriptions for Agist, Discriminatory Language

    The language in your job descriptions may be dissuading older workers from applying for open positions with your company. Words like “tech-savvy,” “digital native,” “fresh,” and “recent college graduate” may sound exclusive to seniors. 
  • Make the Most Out of Your Benefits Offerings

    Just like their younger counterparts, retirement savings benefits and health coverage are important to older workers. If you need a hand determining whether you’re offering the best benefits for your budget, consult with an experienced and certified PEO
  • Give Older Workers the Learning and Development Opportunities They Deserve

    Senior employees want to keep growing and learning. Companies that invest in their older workers by providing training programs and access to new technology have a leg up over their competition. Investing in training for your employees benefits your workers and brings fresh perspectives and skills to your organization. 
  • Partner with an Experienced HR Consultant

    An experienced HR consultant can help you implement unique recruitment, retention and training strategies. 

RELATED:  Redefining Talent - The Rise of New Collar Workers >>

Interested in Hiring Senior Citizens? Axcet HR Solutions is Your Ticket to Untapped Talent

Ultimately, hiring senior citizens is a strategic and symbiotic choice—one that benefits older workers just as much as it benefits your organization. If you’re ready to leverage this valuable segment of the workforce and build a more diverse and productive team, Axcet HR Solutions is here to help you do just that. 

Axcet HR Solutions is a certified professional employer organization (PEO) that is proud to offer small to mid-sized businesses comprehensive guidance on compliant recruitment, retention, L&D and more. We can take the wheel on a full range of HR tasks, while you regain the time and resources needed to focus on growing and scaling your core business. Schedule a consultation today to learn more. New call-to-action

Written by Jenny Barnes

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