A majority of organizations consider diversity and inclusion exclusive to only race, gender and ethnicity. However, what differentiates a great company culture from a poor culture is the concept of universal equality among its workers. This includes gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical disabilities as well as age, which is often the ignored aspect in D&I efforts.
Senior workers usually face the most recruitment bias just because of their “age.” It is imperative for organizations to look beyond the number that is age and look at the experiences it brings with it.
Improved lifespans coupled with economic uncertainty are contributing to the growth of this talent pool. However, these experienced workers still form an underutilized group despite bringing skills to the table that can only be gained through years of exposure to challenges unique to their industry.
In an increasingly competitive and fast-paced market, overlooking the potential of experienced candidates can actually be fatal to a business. This article explores the reasons why the ageing workerforce remains as relevant as ever, especially in the current talent ecosystem where recruiters are struggling to hire for new-age, in-demand skills. should be considered a relevant talent pool of 2022.
The Experience That Comes with Time
Senior workers can tap into both professional and personal experiences that help them excel in the workplace. This is an obvious but overlooked asset while recruiting. Senior employees have seen shifting markets, varied economic conditions, and personal/professional challenges and can bring this experience to future periods of uncertainty.
Senior workers bring experiences of life as well as accumulated knowledge from years of working. Enterprises can tap into these strengths to help overcome workplace challenges and identify business opportunities. These workers have worked across the industry over the years and bring collective experiences to the table that help enterprises make smarter decisions. Senior employees also bring vast and deep networks with them, which cannot be replicated in a short period of time.
To put it simply, wisdom comes with time, and it often means the difference between a wise decision that helps your business and a mistake that sets you back.
Positive Role Models and Crafted Leaders
It is evident that senior workers can have a strong positive influence on younger workers. Experienced employees are often able to serve as mentors, coaches, or experts and assist younger, inexperienced employees while also feeling valued.
Organizations across nearly all industries agree that they are confronting a leadership drought that could potentially hinder their progress. Experienced workers turn smart leaders because they often have stronger communication skills than their younger counterparts.
They are working from a time when communication wasn’t dominated by e-mail or instant messaging; they knew how to deal with people personally.
Ethical and Loyal to Enterprises
Employee retention is a huge concern for enterprises, and the satisfaction rates of Senior workers assist in retention. Senior workers are settled well and not as likely to jump jobs very soon; hence, it pays to keep them on.
Even though the flow of younger talent is in great number but its not enough to replace outgoing senior talent which makes it important to retain them. Firms invest a lot of time and resources into screening, hiring, and training of new employees, only to witness them leave after a short period of time.
According to a 2010 research survey, nearly six in ten respondents cited work ethic as one of the significant differences between young and old. Ninety percent of the respondents who were experienced agreed that being ”ethical” is “extremely or very important” to workplace culture.
Senior workers are seasoned veterans who have gone fought a range of challenges in their years of working and have developed sharp work ethics.
Resilience and Problem-solving Comes in Handy
Senior workers, with their experience, maturity, and calming influence, can help solve a variety of problems that may arise in the workplace, including complex business decisions or workplace conflicts. They have honed critical-thinking skills that can help them make solid decisions without hand-holding or second-guessing.
Senior workers have also experienced difficult times throughout their working life and are often more resilient when faced with a business challenge. This directly relates to their leadership skills and makes them strong enough to help their enterprise in trouble.
What can Organizations do?
Recognizing the need and benefits of having an age-diverse workforce is a great step for the first, but managing to attract and retain senior workers is the real challenge. Let us discuss how to attract and retain experienced workers to utilize this talent pool.
The heart of the matter lies in employees feeling taken care of. Employee well-being is an avoided issue in most organizations, and it has to be addressed in the best way possible.
Senior employees are increasingly seeking flexibility as one of the most sought-after job elements. It is easy to understand that senior workers will generally have commitments outside of work, such as family. To manage the different aspects of life, they may also be seeking a genuine work-life balance as they approach and exceed the traditional retirement age.
Here are some ways enterprises can promote employee well-being:
- Offer innovative compensation models.
- Allow for flexible notice periods.
- Organise emotional, creative, and intellectual activities that foster engagement.
- Assist senior workers with emotional and physical counselling opportunities.
While hiring and utilizing the existing skills of senior employees is necessary, reskilling is another way to prepare them for the future ahead.
As the nature of work changes and some jobs rapidly become obsolete, businesses have a task to develop their senior workforce with in-demand skills needed to keep up with the change and ensure healthy economies. This can be done by specifically crafting their workforce with effective reskilling and upskilling programs.
Encouraging an age-diverse workplace brings many benefits, including fresh perspectives, knowledge-sharing, new ideas, and improved problem-solving. Senior workers are no less relevant than younger workers, and just like today’s generations, they are the future of work too.
To explore more on this topic, Join Vijay Swaminathan, CEO & Co-Founder of Draup, for a thought leadership spotlight as he explores how talent management teams can:
- Break down Demographic Trends
- Reimagine Talent Models of the future
- And leverage Reskilling strategies
Register for the event here and block your seat for the event.
Talent intelligence platforms like Draup eliminate workforce challenges to help talent management teams hire better, train faster, and develop their workforce for the future. This analytics-driven workforce tool identifies and closes workforce gaps through D&I inspections and assists in making more intelligent business decisions.