Mainstream business culture has made great strides to whittle down employee discrimination. Gender and racial inequality have steadily declined over the last two decades. However, age discrimination continues to be a pervasive phenomenon. Companies consistently overlook promoting and hiring experienced candidates over 50 in favor of younger ones. This attitude is a form of discrimination that is far more prevalent than most business professionals believe.
To help your organization avoid age discrimination practices, we’ve outlined four key benefits companies can derive from hiring employees over 50. These key benefits clearly underscore the upside of hiring experienced candidates far outweighs the possible drawbacks.
• Age discrimination is a real situation. Most business executives and companies openly avoid this practice. Nevertheless, they may subtly engage in it.
• Senior staff members provide a wealth of tangible and intangible qualities that help companies achieve their collective goals.
• Seasoned employees over 50 are committed team players who know what it takes to succeed. Their wisdom and experience can become valuable assets, particularly for younger and less-experienced staff members.
Age Discrimination Is Real
Much of the talk regarding discrimination centers around race and gender. However, age discrimination is subtle and often goes unnoticed. It is quite common for people to engage in this form of discrimination without noticing they do it.
Unfortunately, age-related discrimination is far more prevalent than most business professionals believe. According to data from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), roughly 6 out of 10 employees over 50 have seen or experienced some type of age discrimination. Additionally, about 90% indicate they believe this type of discrimination is common in today’s workplace.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median age of 42.2 years for employed people. Moreover, the same 2021 data shows that a handful of industries have workers with a median of 50 or over (including animal production, fabric mills, libraries and archives, and religious organizations).
Passing on older employees is a detrimental practice, intentional or not. Businesses need to realize how valuable these employees are. We’ve assembled four reasons why hiring experienced candidates truly pays off.
Four Reasons Why Hiring More Experienced Candidates Pays Off
While younger workers provide their share of benefits, companies can find a significant upside from hiring more experienced candidates. Employees over 50 bring characteristics to the table that virtually companies seek. These traits are highly desirable in younger employees. However, they take time to develop. Hence, employees over 50 offer tangible and intangible qualities that businesses need to pursue their objectives.
1. Experience, wisdom, and stability
Employees over 50 bring a wealth of experience to the table. After all, senior employees have clear goals in mind, particularly as they get closer to retirement age. This attitude is the result of wisdom accrued after years of experience. Older employees cherish stability and are generally willing to share their knowledge when given the opportunity.
On the whole, older employees lead by example. They can serve as role models, provide a calming effect especially when dealing with workplace situations appropriately. This trait comes from the experience of going through a myriad of situations over their years at work. Ultimately, experienced employees provide veteran leadership that younger staff members crave, particularly early in their careers.
2. Loyalty, work ethic, and commitment
Experienced employees typically have a clear vision for their careers. As a result, they do not have time to play games. Employees over 50 know what they want and are willing to commit to a company that reflects their values. A company’s core values play a crucial role in senior employees’ decision to commit to a company. When they do, older employees bring energy and drive to the team.
Senior team members become loyal collaborators. They know what it takes to make things happen. So, they are prepared to go the extra mile to ensure individual and collective success. Please note older employees are willing to give their all under the right circumstances.
The biggest upside that older employees provide is a mentorship role in the company. This role provides businesses with a highly valuable intangible. Seasoned employees can use their experience and knowledge to guide younger staff members, helping shape their work ethic, loyalty, commitment, and knowledge of the company .
3. Big picture perspective
Employees over 50 have a keen understanding of what they want from their job and their lives. This understanding emerges from positive and negative experiences. Thus, employees over 50 work toward building their personal vision, particularly as they get closer to retirement. This vision means that senior employees have a long-term sense of accomplishment.
In contrast, younger employees generally have a short-term vision. Younger employees do not always have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish with their lives. Consequently, younger employees may trade long-term stability for short-term gains.
Older employees generally seek a balance between individual and collective success. Also, older employees understand the value of short-term and long-term gains. As a result, employees over 50 see the value within the organization and use their role to further their organization’s success.
Older employees know that long-term individual success depends on the organization’s short-term and long-term success. After all, employees over 50 are not keen to risk their livelihoods on a whim. Older staff members will do everything in their power to ensure that individual and collective success harmonizes within the organization.
4. Diversity is a driving force
Companies thrive with a diverse workforce. A mixed workforce that balances younger and older employees helps companies better deal with uncertainty. Employees over 50 help businesses more accurately represent the communities they serve by including members from all walks of life.
Furthermore, a diverse workforce allows different perspectives to come together. A diverse mindset gives companies the chance to find creative ways to solve problems. Moreover, younger employees can benefit from tried and true solutions to common issues. In turn, older employees can thrive from the initiative that comes from working with younger staff members.
Overlooking senior candidates is a mistake that some companies make. These businesses deprive themselves of the benefits that seasoned employees over 50 can provide. Relying solely on a younger workforce creates an unbalance organizational approach. Therefore, companies miss out on the valuable contributions that older employees can make.
Striking a balance between older and younger employees can propel a company to the next level. It is merely a question of finding the right people for the right positions.
How can TalentZök help your company hire better?
TalentZök’s experts can help your company find the right employees of all ages to fit your objectives. TalentZök recognizes everyone’s value and places them according to their skillset and experience. We understand and acknowledge the value that more experienced employees bring to the table. We can help your organization find the right senior candidates to propel your organization to the next level.
This post is made available for informational purposes only to provide a general understanding of the topics discussed herein. It is not intended to provide specific business, legal, or professional advice and should not be relied on as such. TalentZök is not liable or responsible for any damage or loss arising from any reliance placed on such materials.