Hire Older Workers If You Want To Improve Your Workplace

Facts: Young people take things for granted. Don’t argue with me, it’s a fact of life.  We all take things for granted in our youth and don’t really regret it until we get older.  Again, don’t argue.

I’m 46 now and for the past 6 years, I could have been a candidate for age discrimination according to the law.  The law states that a company can’t deny employment to anyone over the age of 40 based on age. Here are the exact words, “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment.”

Even with the laws older workers are unappreciated and pushed out of the workforce for no other reason than reaching another birthday.

More Facts: We all know that there are recruiters, hiring managers, human resources, and others in positions of authority who will not hire/refuses to hire someone of a certain age.  Age discrimination, just like all discrimination, persists despite the laws.

Here’s something you might not know - older workers are more appreciative of the opportunity to work than younger workers.  Older workers are more settled in life which translates to greater loyalty and higher performance.  Older workers are less likely to have kids or more kids which translates to few days raising kids, nursing sick kids, and going to kids various activities.  And older workers are happier for one major reason - “because they relish the opportunity to contribute to society later in life.” (source)

So I’ve provided stats and links for you to look into it yourself but allow me to offer something that is more important, in my opinion - a real-life scenario.  I was speaking with a colleague he told about a hiring manager he was working with and that the hiring manager asked him to bring him older workers only.  When asked why only older workers, the response was, “They are more dependable, reliable, and loyal.”  The hiring manager went on to say he felt like older workers work harder and he has to deal with less drama, sans for the occasional off day for a doctor’s appointment.

To any recruiters or hiring managers who may be reading this, please understand that as a resume writer I work with everyone - young and old, all genders and races and the number one question I am asked is about age discrimination.  And for most caucasian men, age discrimination is the first time they have ever been on the other end of discrimination.  It’s new and shocking for them. Yet when I have older clients, they want the same thing as all other clients - a job. What I find most interesting is that most of my older clients are looking for opportunities for 5-10 years, they aren’t looking to get promoted to manager or director, they don’t play office politics, and they try to get along with everyone. They have a great perspective on work and they just want a decent salary, some healthcare benefits, and to do their jobs in peace.