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13th February 2015

How flexible are you towards employing older people?

Female Student Talking To High School CounselorWe only have to look around our workplaces to get an idea of the demographics of the UK workforce. A report by the BITC has called for ‘employers to offer more flexible opportunities to retain workers aged over 50’.

Choosing youth over knowledge and experience?

The knowledge and experience of workers over the age of 50 provides us with real opportunities. But yet, as employers, we seem to have the tendency to choose the younger candidate.

The report continues to show that ‘less than a third of people aged between 50 and 64 who became unemployed successfully find another job’. Surprising figures I know!

Missing out?

So what can be done to ensure we are not missing out by overlooking older employers?

  • With the new flexible working laws now fully in place since last year, the opportunity is there for the older generation to request to work flexibly?
  • Consider the positive impact that an older worker can have on a company.
  • Demographics show that we are all living longer and looking to retire later. If 50 is the new 30, then surely 70 is the new 50? There are many working years left for that 50 year old.
  • Offer further training to employees and ensure they have employability. Many skills are transferable particular in the service sector.
  • Have a capability policy so you can “retire” those whose capabilities fail.
  • Get your employees on to bikes so their capabilities go on and on! The evidence is here. Your can get your employees a discount on their bikes here.

I was talking to an older lady in a store recently. She explained to me that she had reached retirement age, but had been employed particularly because of her experiences in the customer service area. So she was a perfect fit for the service sector!

The skills, experience and the amiable approach towards clients are specific qualities for our sector, so let’s not overlook these prospective recruits simply because of their age.

Anita Manfredi of Employer Solutions – QCS HR Expert Contributor

Topics: Human Resources

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