4 Strategic reasons why younger entrepreneurs should hire older workers
Our workforce is getting a shade grayer each year and younger entrepreneurs may benefit from getting seasoned workers. The older crowd may surprise you with what they know about technology but there are various reasons to hire an older worker.
For one thing, our workforce will be getting older.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 28 percent of the workforce will be older than age 55 by the year 2020. (Click here for BLS Labor Force projections and pdf document titled Labor Force Projections to 2020, a More Slowly Growing Workforce.
The senior employee may temper the aggressiveness and career-climbing that motivate younger colleagues while leading with valuable life lessons. It could be a win-win for all involved.
There's not much that can shake a person who's spent a career of surviving – or not – office politics and has seen examples of terrible management and perhaps great management. Experience can lead to humility and be a nice change from a younger worker who's over-eager to prove herself and perhaps come across as a bit too brash.
This can also be shaped by volunteer experience. I met a former CEO of one of Southern California's1960s retail giant volunteering for PACE Business Development Center. He was enthusiastic and quite helpful for the staff.
New Wave Home Care's founder, Sam Gopinathan, told me that he has clients who had executive level experience in major corporations. Some might want to give back by advising younger entrepreneurs.
Younger companies and those run by 20-somethings and 30-somethings fresh out of college and graduate school can temper their own enthusiasm with hard-won real world experience that's been shaped by a few decades of successes and struggles.
Senior workers who are empty "nesters" may have more flexibility than younger workers with families. An article in YFS Magazine.com, 3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Hire Seniors and Retirees, features Sergie Zammit of FIN, Ltd., a company in the U.K., who says, "We have three pensioners working on a part-time basis. They normally work half days on weekdays, which works great for us as we normally need their skills in the morning to carry out mechanical installations.
"However, whenever we need them to stay longer or come in on Saturdays during times of high workload they are usually available at very short notice. This flexibility works great for us, but even better for our clients. That’s the beauty of having a team member that doesn’t have another job or young kids that depend on them."
Lighter colored hair doesn't mean someone's inherently an angel, but older workers convey a sense of trust. In a 2010 Pew Research Center study, Millenials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change, a majority of younger workers say that the older generation is superior to the younger generation when it comes to moral values and work ethic.
Don't think of older workers as having more frail health. They might be just as vibrant and alive as anyone else in the office.
A plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Dr. Rafi Hovsepian, remarks he's had plenty of patients in their mid-50s to mid-60s who are working out and want to refine their muscle structure so they can be active with their adult children.
His comments are covered in 5 Plastic Surgery Guidelines You
Thinking about hiring a senior worker? The move could be a good complement to your current staff.
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