The Ripe, Old Age of Great Employees

466464225Since the economic down turn, most of us know at least one person who lost their job and is hunting for their next position. One of the hardest transitions is for our aged 50+ workforces who are thrown back into interview sweats after being an extended spectator to the game. Newcomers take the field, equipped with advanced technology skills and a willingness to take any position, and career veterans are suddenly sidelined.

If your business has ever hesitated when mulling over the resume of an older applicant, here’s five reasons why you should jump at the chance to build a multi-generational team:

1) Retention Rate. They are dedicated to the idea of growing with a business, not merely through it. New graduates are ready to fill open positions but you will also see them ready to vacate just as often. Penelope Trunk, co-founder of Quistic, an educational career-management business, stated that workers in their 20’s to 30’s today spend on average one to three years at a job to build their resume before moving on. Older employees tend to carry a different mindset and will offer a greater return on a hiring investment.

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2) Accumulated Wisdom. It seems like a simple concept but with a 25+ year work history, these veterans are bringing with them a great resource of their successes AND their failures. The latter is particularly important as it will show your business what pitfalls to avoid and how to bounce back from challenges.

3) Greater Flexibility. They’ve matured through their career and felt the growing pains that younger employees may not yet understand as being crucial to improved business. Stephen Bastian, business consultant and expert on leadership and managing employees, explained that besides acquiring technical abilities, your veterans have perfected the soft skills like communication, abilities to handle stress, and confidence to collaborate with management, that support the fundamentals of any project They will also be more likely to be flexible in their compensation with former insurance and savings plans put in place.

4) An Extended Network. Their list of contacts, business relationships, and friends in the field will be well developed with their career record. In a study conducted during the recession by The Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, 46.3% of employer s interviewed said that their older employees have stronger professional and client networks compared to their younger workers. Therefore, a potential client that your business has been looking to connect with might be a former business partner of theirs.

5) A Fresh Perspective. When trying to cut new ground and stay modern, an older employee can actually revitalize your business by providing a different perspective. Vintage fashions and trends always make a comeback and you will definitely profit from an employee who is familiar with traditional business models and how to apply them anew.

Thriving businesses today with multi-generational teams see the potential for more creative and innovative ideas being produced and a greater diversity of strengths available at the table. Skills can be learned but experience can’t be bought.

MORE: Retiring? Not so fast, say employers


John Giaimo

John Giaimo
John Giaimo is president of Software Resources Inc., an IT Staffing Solutions firm. Founded in 1992, Software Resources is a certified women-owned business enterprise (WBE), and is a national award-winning staffing firm serving clients in the U.S.

John Giaimo

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