Hiring Senior Citizens

Many companies consider old age as something that would make a worker inadequate. Once an employee reaches 50, he or she would be perceived as less productive and set in their ways.

They are also less strong, not as quick as before, and need more health care than the young ones. These are why more often than not we see organizations creating a "retirement ceiling" that forces employees to retire at a certain age.

However, these offices do not seem to look at the big picture that by 2010, the United States would need as many as 10 million more workers, and our working population by that time could not fill the vacancies since the "baby boomers" have retired.

What’s worse, 58 percent of HR managers surveyed in a recent study say it is more difficult today than five years ago to find qualified job applicants. More than half of these managers believe their companies are likely to confront a shortage of qualified workers in the next five years.

It would be a good consideration for companies to consider seniors as potential employees, especially when stereotypes against them would turn out to be false as older workers can continue doing their job well. In fact, older people plan on working even beyond retirement age, either because of their own enjoyment or to save enough for their own retirement.

Coincidentally, many older workers are gifted with the skills and assets companies are seeking, such as work experience, dependability and perseverance, task-focused, sociable to customers, and loyalty to the company. Seniors are also among the most motivated in the workplace. These traits offer a good model for younger workers.

Although senior workers are not as likely to create mold-breaking new ideas, they are good when it comes to "experimental innovation" wherein fresh ideas are made based on current practices.

In order for your company to attract quality seniors to enter your company, you need to offer them with flexible arrangements, including part-time and seasonal work as well as phased retirement, which enables them to gradually withdraw from the workforce. They also want opportunities for training, new experiences, and competitive health care and retirement benefits.

Companies, especially the smaller ones, should think seriously about their future employment needs today in order to put themselves in position better.

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