According to the Canadian Government, in 2014 over 6 million or 15.6% of Canadians were 65 or over. By 2030 this number will rise to 9.5 million making up 23% of Canada’s population. The stereotype of the doddering older person is no longer true, and in fact they can be every bit as creative, innovative and entrepreneurial as their younger counterparts.
Many older people want to stay within the work force either in full, part time or flexible jobs, or by creating self-employment opportunities for themselves. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 1995 and 2016 the share of men in the work force aged 65 to 69 in rose from 28% to 38%, and for women the increase was from 18% to 30%. Self-employed and entrepreneurial older workers were the highest percentage of any age group, and five times greater than the 24–35 age group.
Here are some reasons why hiring older workers can help you to maintain a reliable workforce and provide a significant cost savings.
- Employers often complain that they are unable to find qualified employees. Older workers bring their previous education and experience, are more dedicated and produce higher quality work usually with little training.
- They are more likely to show up every day ready and willing to work.
- They take pride in a job well done, often staying after hours to complete a task. Younger workers tend to want to put their hours in then leave.
- They value honesty, personal integrity and truthfulness.
- They are detail-oriented, focused and attentive and can often able find mistakes such as pricing errors, spelling errors and accounting mistakes which can save the company money.
- They are good listeners and often only have to be told once what to do. This makes them easier to train.
- Older workers can set an example and can be excellent mentors for other employees.
- They have greater organizational skills meaning less man hours are lost due to workplace disorganization.
- They are efficient and confident, willing to share their experience and recommendations with fellow workers and management. This means that jobs can be done more efficiently saving the company money.
- They have good communications skills learned from their previous experience in the workplace.
Next time you are hiring, consider an older person for the skills, values and potential savings in time and money that they can bring to your company. Rethinking the costs of high turnover of younger staff vs the benefits of more mature workers can make a positive difference to your bottom line.
From an article by Stephen Bastien in Entrepreneur