The Advantages of Hiring and Retaining Older Staff

Posted on: July 15, 2021

Canada’s economy is recovering quite well and expected to continue to improve over the next few years. As things begin to normalize, it might be time to think about some of the business challenges that existed before the pandemic that haven’t gone away. One of those is the aging population and the strain that will put on businesses looking for experienced workers. While no one wants to admit that they have an age bias, many people do. Won’t they get sick more often? Will they be able to learn our computer systems? These are the types of questions that make recruiters reluctant to hire older workers. The fact is though, that hiring and retaining older employees has a number of advantages.

They stay with you longer – Older vs younger adults have different reasons for working. Younger workers are looking to climb the ladder to higher positions and higher pay, and they really don’t care if they have to change companies to achieve that. Older adults who chose not to retire, enjoy working, they find purpose and comradery in the workplace, and prefer stability over lofty goals. Considering the time and expense needed for new hires, you want them to stick around.

They take fewer sick days – Most studies show that older workers call in sick less often than younger ones. They also tend to be on time more often. Older workers are also less likely to have a workplace injury.

They are more collaborative and need less supervision – Older workers have learned from experience that collaboration pays off for everyone. They don’t need to be in charge, and are more focused on getting the job done.

Age mixed teams are more productive – The buzz word is “cognitive diversity” and applies to factors other than age as well, but there is clear evidence that multi-generational teams are more productive than those of similar age.

They have enhanced skills – Age generally increases judgement, knowledge, and decision making. While short-term memory may decline in middle age, intellectual capabilities remain up to age 70 and longer. Sought after attributes like communication and leadership skills, also continue to grow with age.

Mentoring works both ways – While older workers can share their knowledge and skills with younger ones, they are also still quite capable of learning from their younger colleagues. The combination of years of experience with new fangled technology is a powerful thing.

While this may all seem theoretical, our own team at Internet Advertising is a case study that proves these benefits. Joanne won’t tell us exactly how old she is, but she’s old! And our youngest team member is still a pup. Time and time again, we’ve quickly solved a problem that has lingered unresolved with another firm. Maybe we’re just smarter, but we believe that our success comes from the collaboration of three generations of ingenuity.

What problem can we solve for you?