- Veronica Burns
The Great Unretirement
What if you could tap into a pool of workers who are qualified and ready to work during these times when it’s hard to get people to even come to an interview?
Have you considered hiring older workers?
At the height of the pandemic, many employees in the 55-64 age group retired early. There were many reasons for this, including increased caregiving responsibilities, unstable jobs, physically demanding work, health issues, changes in schedules, and escaping unpleasant work environments. Since the 55-64 age group faced higher risks of complications and death from Covid than younger people, there was a fear of the virus as well. The workforce consisted of many people in this age category, so many industries took a hit as so many older folks quit their jobs.
Some who chose to retire early were lucky enough to have 401(k)s or other investments which grew in value as the stock market rose. Others left the workforce because they felt they had no choice. However, many employees in the 55-64 age range are now reentering the workplace.
Why have these people returned to work?
The stock market isn’t doing as well now, so some don’t feel secure about their retirement savings. Some people miss the social aspect and the structure of work. However, the biggest percentage of this group probably need the income in addition to benefits like insurance because Medicare is not available until age 65.
Not everyone saved enough money for a comfortable retirement. Some don’t think they will ever be able to retire. There are many people 65 and over seeking jobs who are very willing to work. Also, there are workers who started taking Social Security but then realized they don’t have enough money to live on, in part because inflation is high and gas prices keep going up.
Could you use an employee with a long history of reliable work?
Maybe they can’t work 40 hours a week or are unwilling to do so for various reasons – but couldn’t you use an older worker for 20 hours a week? Maybe they’re willing to earn less than they used to so they can work in a different field or a less stressful job? Maybe their computer skills are not as good as your younger workers, but is that strictly necessary? You could teach them what they need to know to be successful. It’s not automatically true that people who took a break in their employment or have been out of the workplace for a while will be difficult hires.
Don’t make assumptions about older workers.
Be open to what they can offer and be flexible about their needs. They have the potential to bring a lot of experience, knowledge, a great work ethic, and mentoring skills to your company. You could end up with some terrific employees.
Bottom line: Don’t make assumptions about people.
We are all different, with different skill sets and motivations. Ask people what matters to them, and you could discover some hidden gems during this period of fierce competition for workers.
At MGMTinsight, we can help you along the hiring process, especially in these challenging times. Let’s talk more about the benefits of hiring older, more experienced employees in this job market.
Contact us today for more information.