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Recruitment technology

In a Millennial World, Experience Is Still an Asset

Clare Hopping

Elliott Brown/flickr Elliott Brown/flickr

Think baby boomers are on their way out? Think again. Recareering is becoming an increasingly essential aspect of the modern workplace.

When you picture the quintessential job seeker in your head, chances are you’re thinking about generation Y or Z – the wide-eyed college grad looking to jump in at the ground level. But this picture may start to change over the next few years.

Right now there is a massive gap between young, qualified candidates and the number of positions that companies need to fill, according to Havas People. In fact, there will be over 13.5 million job openings over the next ten years and only about seven million educated young people entering the workforce.

This begs the question: how are companies going to fill this gap in the coming decade? Luckily, the answer to this question is an easy one.

A Simple Solution

Meet the UK’s fastest growing labour demographic: workers ages 55 and older. As Talent Bites reports, it’s predicted that the 55-59 age group will grow by almost 25% by 2021, making it the UK’s fastest growing demographic.

As the 40-49 and 20-24 age groups are predicted to shrink in that time, no business can feel adequately prepared for the coming decades without a strong appeal to the valuable members of this booming workforce.

The upward trend may be a result of both better access to education and to rising life expectancy, which is expected to delay the age of retirement in the coming years, according to The Actuary. Some experts like Havas People’s have also pointed out that many older workers are opting for midlife career changes after 20+ years in the workforce, hoping that a new job will keep their lives interesting and rewarding.

Regardless of why they’re recareering, what’s clear is that this rapidly growing demographic offers a variety of skillsets and assets that sets them apart from the younger generations of job seekers.

Wisdom and Experience

Older workers who are recareering or changing industries can offer companies a range of advantages over their youthful counterparts. Job seekers who are 55 and older tend to have a wealth of real world experience, decision-making skills, and expansive networks.

There’s a unique perspective and confidence that comes with age, something that recent college grads just haven’t been around long enough to obtain. That’s why older employees also make good mentors and role models for younger workers and managers.

Some have voiced concerns over elderly workers being more susceptible to sickness, harder to train when it comes to new technologies, and even downright resistant to change and forward thinking. But these concerns are simply unfounded: Havas People tells us that we should instead associate the baby boomer generation with a high degree of loyalty, work ethic, and dedication to good service.

Reach Out Effectively

New demographics require new ways of thinking. Companies are going to have to change the way they hire if they want to tap into this valuable new faction of senior job seekers. Hiring managers should be looking at personality, work ethic, and experience when considering older candidates for openings.

It’s crucial that companies can effectively assess these qualities early on, or they’ll fail to utilise the most valuable assets this hard-working generation can offer.

Look into innovative technologies like video recruitment software, which allows for a more intimate and accurate representation of a candidate throughout both the initial screening stages and the actual interview process.

This not only makes hiring new employees more cost-effective and efficient for your company, but more convenient for everyone involved. Interviews can take place in the comfort of the applicant’s home, thus improving the overall candidate experience and the quality of the interview itself.

The 55-and-over workforce is going to become an invaluable resource for all industries over the next decade. Now is the time to get in the game and seek out the best potential candidates in this demographic group. Just make sure you use the right tools for the job.

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.