Competitive Edge

70 + million baby boomers are approaching retirement  -  a tidal wave that will leave a labor shortage in its wake and a market in which younger candidates are fewer and harder to recruit.  Many companies are realizing the impact of this wave on their productivity and growth.  Forward-thinking hiring managers are finding ways to attract and retain mature workers in order to capitalize on their knowledge and experience and maintain a competitive edge. 

What are the business benefits of hiring and retaining older workers

The Society of Human Resource Management 2003 survey of hundreds of human resource professionals cited these:

  • More available and willing to work different schedules
  • Ability to mentor less experienced staff
  • Valuable experience
  • Stronger work ethic
  • More reliable and loyal
  • Diversity of thought/approach
  • Established network contacts and clients
  • Higher retention rate
  • More productive in their work


What savings can be realized from hiring and retaining older workers?

Several areas of potential savings are highlighted in studies by the US Department of Labor and AARP:

  • Accident and attendance records are better for older workers.  With a strong work ethic and a tendency to be more careful on the job, they are more dependable and responsible, missing less work, having fewer accidents, and changing jobs less frequently.
  • In most occupations, productivity levels remain the same or increase with age because of improved work habits, motivation, and concentration.  Older worker’s production rates are steadier when compared to other age groups.
  • Mature workers remain interested in learning new processes and taking on challenging assignments.  With their solid experience base, coupled with better study attitudes, training costs are less.
  • The retention of older, experienced workers preserves institutional knowledge and saves employee replacement costs which now run upwards of 50% of annual salary.
  • While individual older worker’s health, disability, and life insurance costs rise, they are offset by lower costs due to fewer dependents.

Companies now and in the future should view workers age 50+ as a talent pool that can be drawn on to meet their workforce needs and business goals.  For further information on how your company can successfully attract and retain these experienced workers, take the Assessment Quiz on this website and then visit the Best Practices section.

Is your company mature worker friendly?

The skills and knowledge of your older workers contribute directly to your bottom line. Keep this valuable experience working for you! Click below to take our quick quiz and see if your company has the practices in place to attract and retain experienced older workers.

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