Op-Ed: The Benefits of Hiring Seniors

By Michael Amoroso

For years companies have been hesitant to hire 50+ jobseekers. This situation is slowly changing as the unemployment rate has decreased during the last few years causing a diminished supply of candidates under 50, coupled with an increasing availability of seniors and retirees who wish to work. Should this latter group be seriously considered by American businesses?

50+ workers have the soft skills employers say they need. American business faces a skill crisis with 40% of companies reporting difficulty filling jobs due to lack of available talent. Overwhelmingly, business leaders point to soft skills — professionalism, written communication skills, analytical skills, and interpersonal skills — as the critical piece that is often missing from their talent pools. 50+ workers have spent decades honing soft skills, which can continue to improve until very late in life.

Furthermore, businesses can gain and maintain a competitive labor market advantage by employing and retaining 50+ jobseekers. Here are number of reasons to consider seniors and retirees. They are willing to work for less pay and prestige than their past employments. The majority are willing to work on a part-time or project assignment basis. It is usually not necessary to pay company benefits like health care insurance. Most temporary, part-time and project based employees do not require unemployment insurance coverage.

Studies conducted by AARP found older workers ranked higher than their younger counterparts in a number of areas including a willingness and eagerness to learn, and a strong commitment to quality. In addition, contrary to popular belief, older employees have excellent attendance records because they rarely miss work for the myriad personal and family reasons that younger and middle-age workers often do. Another myth about seniors and retirees is that they won’t stay on the job for very long. They tend to be much less likely than younger workers to job hop and look for other opportunities.

An added bonus if your business is located in Greenwich and the surrounding communities (Stamford and Port Chester/Rye Brook), USE (a non-profit which specializes in helping 50+jobseekers) has registered workers/categorized by skills, does not charge a fee, and enables your company to hire within/support your community.

Employers spend many hours each year reviewing resumes received from internet sites or ads, prescreening and interviewing candidates, and hiring and training younger workers, only to find that many of the employees they hire leave them after a short duration because they aspire to grow quickly in the company and feel something better has come along as they work their way up the ladder.

The question: Considering the benefits of hiring seniors and retirees, how can you not consider 50+ jobseekers when you’re looking to hire?

Michael Amoroso, BBA, MBA has been a retiree for 22 years, previously running his own consulting firm in Manhattan. He currently is the Director of USE, which helps jobseekers fifty and older. Their website is USEstaffing.org. In addition, Mike lectures on Life after Retirement at libraries throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties. He can be reached at USE1978@aol.com

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