Why Hiring and Retaining Older Workers Works

Categories: News

Peter Landesman, Senior Business Development Manager, JVS Career Services

In today’s job market, there are nearly one million more job openings than there are unemployed workers, which leaves employers struggling to find and hire workers.

But there may be a simple solution—hiring or retaining older workers. According to AARP, workers 55 or older comprise nearly 25% of the workforce, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says there will be more than 54 million workers over the age of 55 by the year 2024.

An AARP study found 12% of older workers believe they were passed for advancement due to their age. While two-thirds report having seen or experienced age discrimination on the job. 25% said they had heard negative, age-related remarks voiced by a colleague or supervisor.

Ageism was made illegal by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. It protects workers over the age of 40 from age-based discrimination. Ageism cases may be difficult to prove, but employers found to be noncompliant can face multi-million-dollar fines. From 2010-2018, employers paid $810.4 million, not including litigation costs, to settle age discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Here are just a few of the reasons companies would do well to hire or retain older workers:

  • Most employers are protective of their brand image and want to be thought of as an “employer of choice,” but ageism can negatively impact that brand. A candidate or former employee who feels they have experienced ageism can create negative comments towards a company, be it through word-of-mouth or social media. A company’s brand subsequently suffers and, ultimately, the impact is felt where it hurts the most: a company’s bottom line.
  • Older workers have years of experience and knowledge that a company can put to good use. No matter if it’s their professional network or their knowledge of the company, older employees are often great mentors to younger workers. Companies could lose out on a lot of soft skills by letting those older workers go.
  • Older workers are likely to stay with a company longer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median tenure for workers aged 25 to 34 is approximately three years, while the median tenure for employees aged 65 and over is approximately ten years. Turnover is a major expense for companies, with one study finding that it costs about $15,000 to replace a worker earning $45,000 a year.

Today’s workforce now encompasses at least four generations of Americans, and study after study has shown that employers who value a diverse and inclusive workplace and truly put it into practice, are more profitable than those that don’t.

Does your organization need additional resources that will help it acquire valuable talent to move your business forward? One great option is to outsource talent acquisition to a professional recruiting agency. At JVS Career Services, our experienced recruiters work full-time to fill your open positions, providing your overworked HR staff with the time they need to become fully engaged business partners.

JVS Career Services can be an extension of your talent acquisition organization. Whether it’s for entry-level positions or high-level executives, JVS Career Services is a trusted partner to help you source the best, most qualified talent. As a nonprofit organization, JVS Career Services can offer recruiting services at far below market rates, while never sacrificing the quality of service that is provided.

To learn more, visit JVS Careers Services at jvscareers.org or call (513) 936-9675.