Age and Opportunity

Staying in Jobs

As more and more workers are staying in jobs beyond the previous retirement age, this can offer firms a wealth of experience from the employer’s side, and also allow older employees opportunities in terms of new skills and, indeed, new careers.  According to William Fry’s 2016 Employment Report: Age In The Workplace, 48% of organisations, do not have a mandatory retirement age at all. Another stand-out statistic was that 63% of older employees do not wish to, nor expect to be in a financial position to retire at the current state pension age.

Security and Opportunity

This trend is reflected in worldwide statistics and is not just an Irish phenomenon. The U.S. Census Bureau is predicting a 5% rise in workers over the age of 65 by the year 2022. This makes this particular age group the fastest growing in the American economy. Another example of this trend is in Korea where new figures show that 37% of new employees are now over the age of 50.  A recent poll by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed that more than seven in 10 human resource professionals believe the loss of skilled older workers is “a potential problem” for their particular sectors. As the number of industries looking to keep or employ experienced employees increases, this offers older employees opportunities in terms of learning new skills, changing job or even changing career.  For employers, the benefits of hiring an older employee are easy to see. An employer can determine how loyal a candidate is. This is not the case with a graduate. An older employee also has the potential to be more flexible as their family circumstances may be more stable than a younger employee. Giving older employees opportunities also creates the ‘mentor factor’ where younger employees can gain the wisdom and insights of someone who has a depth of life experience.

Changing Perception

As a new perception of today’s workforce dynamic begins to emerge, both employers and employees alike can benefit. Opportunities for older employees can help transition a company through the current economic climate by contributing stability, wisdom and experience.