Unconscious bias during the recruiting process is something of a hot topic right now; and this includes age discrimination. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you may be more likely to hire a younger employee packed with potential over one nearing the end of their career. However, there are actually a number of benefits of hiring an older employee
There are a number of reasons why you may be bias in this way. Maybe you’re prioritizing potential over experience, with a significant focus on soft skills. Or perhaps you’re looking to fill your business with creative young minds to super-charge the future of your company, while also keeping salaries manageable.
However, an older employee can be an excellent addition to your company and should not be dismissed. If you need more convincing, here are five benefits that hiring an older employee can have on your business and your staff.
1. Create a more diverse workplace
It can be tricky to engage a range of age groups in your workplace. Plus, some older employees might even begrudge younger managers telling them what to do. However, blending the age groups will benefit the diversity of your company.
If you hire a diverse range of individuals and have younger and older employees mixing on a daily basis, each age group is bound to pick up tips quickly. This can increase productivity and the potential of your younger employees, while also boosting the skill-sets of more mature workers. Furthermore, it also creates an all-inclusive working environment.
Indeed, a diverse workplace can increase brand recognition. You’ll receive far more applications to your jobs if you’re seen as a company with a great, inclusive culture!
2. Add some experience
While filling your company with high-potential employees is beneficial, it’s equally important to balance that out with experience. And who fits the bill more than an older employee?
After all, it’s all well and good having a fully-fledged graduate scheme with a focus on younger candidates, but who can you turn to in a crisis? An older employee can add an air of composure and calm to a young and inexperienced team.
What’s more, having an older employee around cuts out the middle-man when completing projects. They’re able to draw on experience to quickly offer the final seal of approval on projects and meetings. They’ve been there, done that and can hopefully pass on their knowledge to those around them.
3. Improve your retention rates
Bringing in an older employee makes sense in the long-term, too. It’s likely that your younger, up-and-coming employees will eventually feel as if they’ve outgrown the business and want to explore a new challenge. The chances of this happening with an employer over 50 is much slimmer.
After amassing a wealth of experience, an older employee may prefer to channel their efforts into one business alone. They’re less likely to be swayed by a host of job offers and a desire for a new challenge. Their next main goal could even be retirement! With the average retirement age in the UK currently sitting at 65 for men and 64 for women, this is still pretty far off.
Hiring older employees solidifies your workforce for the long term; which means you won’t have to worry about sorting their replacement for a good while.
4. Achieve the best results
Chances are, an older employee has been around the block a few times. They’ll know the ins and outs of the industry and will understand what works and what doesn’t.
After all, you’ll have hired for them for a reason. They’ve got a proven track record and you can expect an older employee to produce results straight away.
Hopefully, there’ll be no nasty surprises in store with an older employee. We’ve all experienced a new hire who runs out of steam after the first couple of months; but, with an older employee you know what to expect. While it may take some time to on-board them into the company culture, their work and results shouldn’t be an issue.
5. Benefit from their maturity
Millennials and Generation Z get some pretty bad slack in the press for being easy to offend. And while we don’t totally agree with this, there is some reassurance with hiring an older employee that they’ll be more mature in the workplace. It’s often assumed that Gen Z are easy to upset, but the same can’t be said for the older generation. You may find the difference in ages stirs up some interesting conversations in the office
The likelihood of an older worker getting embroiled in office politics, cliques or mistakenly violating their contract is improbable. The most common outcome will be that they’ll steer clear of the drama and get on with the job at hand.
Understand the benefits of hiring an older employee
When it comes to your hiring process, you should prioritize your company and the role’s needs before anything else.
You may want to fill an entry-level role with a creative self-starter. Or maybe you have a senior role where you want an experienced veteran of the industry. Whichever role you’re trying to fill, you should never discount the value an older employee can bring to your company.
Not only will employing a worker over the age of 50 diversify your workplace, but it will also add experience to your workforce and help your less experienced staff members to learn a few tricks.
So think twice before you dismiss an older worker when you’re shortlisting candidates!