Statistics show that more than ever, Baby Boomers are working longer than previous generations.
As the workforce continues to age, experts predict that Baby Boomers will be the fastest-growing demographic in the labor pool, which means that there are already Baby Boomer job-seekers out there in droves.
To compete for the best talent in this demographic, employers will need to go beyond shedding antiquated concepts about aging and avoiding ill-advised (and sometimes illegal) interview questions and labels.
Things like "too expensive," "overqualified," and "not a culture fit" are unwise assumptions made before meeting an experienced candidate face to face.
Employers should think less about stereotypes and more about recognizing the value of hiring experienced workers at all levels of the org chart. Because here stands the largest generation in history, brimming with talent, expertise, and diversity to complement existing teams.
To attract great people, companies should study up on the compelling reasons to hire in this demographic and make this thinking part of their strategy to build a thriving culture.
Mark Silverman, CEO of Amava, a platform connecting Boomers with flexible work and socially engaging experiences, notes: "We found that more than 50 percent of our Members are searching for job opportunities in an effort to stay engaged and continue to earn."
Here are three reasons to hire experienced Boomers:
1. They are talented and underutilized.
Silverman notes that "Boomers possess a depth of experience and specific legacy skills that are hard to find or replace in a tight labor market." They bring a level of critical thinking and sheer knowledge that is hard to teach younger generations. Older workers know what questions to ask, they have a strong work ethic, they stay in jobs longer, they typically take fewer days off, and they know how to get the job done right. Not only are they are an untapped market for top talent, but they are also eager to work!
2. They are also your customers.
Roughly 74 million Boomers in the US. are consumers. It's basic logic: any business that wants this demographic as customers (and that would be nearly every business) would do well to consider hiring them as potential employees or contractors. This is no short-term play. It's about relationships. Silverman encourages organizations to "recruit them, hire them, value their input and their feedback and create lasting relationships with the most powerful consumer block in the world."
3. They are a crucial component of an intergenerational workplace.
It turns out that focusing on all generations in the workplace is best for business since diverse perspectives, styles, and skill sets make for interesting, healthy and productive workplaces. Employers should take advantage of each generation's strongest trait and form groups accordingly, with at least one person from each generation having a role.
For these three reasons and more, employers need to up their game to recruit and retain Baby Boomers. As Silverman sees it, "Organizations have a massive opportunity in front of them. If you don't believe it, check with your marketing or merchandising team to see how valuable this demographic is to your business, as well as your team."
The war on talent is fierce. There are more jobs than people to fill them, with the ball in job seekers' courts. And increasingly, the battle to field the most talented workforce starts with an inclusive company culture that recognizes and values the needs of all employees -- regardless of their generational labels.