It’s not just Millennials who want flexible work opportunities. Baby Boomers do, too. Learn why outdated assumptions about Baby Boomers may be holding your company’s hiring strategy back.
No matter where you turn these days, it can feel like everyone is talking about Millennial recruitment, retention and management strategies. Why? Conventional wisdom holds that Baby Boomers will be retiring in mass over the next decade, causing a huge brain drain at companies. Employers that fail to cater to Millennial job demands will also fail to fill these talent gaps. Additionally, myths persist that employees over age 50 are simply too expensive can’t keep up with the latest tech and social media trends, or are too set in their ways.
As an Executive Senior Partner with Lucas Group, I see many of these assumptions echoed by some of the clients who are skeptical about hiring workers over 50. While it is important to have a smart Millennial recruitment strategy, it is equally important to have a robust recruitment strategy for candidates aged 50 and older. Older candidates are loyal, engaged, and bring a wealth of strategic experience that can boost your bottom line.
There’s no denying that a 50-year-old is closer to retirement than a 25-year-old. But don’t assume older job candidates are “ready to retire”, “too expensive” or “behind the times”. Are these myths holding back your recruitment strategy?
Myth: Baby Boomers are counting the days to retirement.
Fact: Just because Baby Boomers are eligible for retirement, however, doesn’t mean they’re immediately planning to exit the workforce. Forty percent have no plans to retire until they are at least 66 and 10 percent say they “never plan to retire”. Employees in their early 50s have more than a decade of valuable time left in the workforce.
Myth: Older employees can’t keep up new technology or adjust to telecommuting.
Fact: Boomers want flexible, mobile work options– just like Millennials.
An overwhelming majority of Boomers (87 percent) want flexible workplace options, reports HBR. Many are caring for older parents or seeking greater work-life balance without having to retire. They’re open to telecommuting options and flexible work arrangements that empower them to choose when and where to work. They’re fully mobile, too. Nearly half of all job seekers over 50 search for jobs via their smartphones. They are fully comfortable using smartphones for video calls, email and messaging, reports Pew Research Center.
Myth: Workers over 50 are “stuck in the past”.
Fact: Older employees offer an incredible depth of experience, perspective and strategic insight.
Don’t assume older employees are not forward thinking. Some of the most talented recruits my team has placed were age 50 or older, and they’ve gone on to transform their organizations with their depth of industry knowledge and strategic expertise. Compared with Millennials, older employees have “seen it all”, which means they are able to provide steady leadership and guidance during a company crisis. They bring a critical, mature perspective to decision making and will consider factors younger, inexperienced employees might have overlooked.
In the rush to recruit Millennials, don’t overlook the benefits of hiring workers over 50. Their experience, perspective, adaptability, and commitment can be truly invaluable for the right organization.