People are living longer and at the same time, the birth rate is dropping. “The convergence of these trends is raising awareness among employers that their continued growth – and that of the economy more broadly – depends on a shift in human capital strategy,” notes the guide.
The guide details the benefits that older workers bring to the job. Among the highlights:
- From their life and work experience, many older workers have attributes employers say they are seeking – problem solving, critical thinking, self-management, resilience, leadership, and social skills, according to the World Economic Forum.
- Older workers are more likely to stay in their jobs longer than workers of other ages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Engaging older workers could raise GDP per capita by 19% over the next three decades. The economic contribution of the 50+ population will triple by 2050, according to AARP.
- Older workers can provide mentoring opportunities, according to Employee Benefit News.
The guide provides a checklist for employers that are aiming to become more age-friendly. Among the suggestions:
- Use data and analytics to avoid age bias in HR decisions.
- Use age-inclusive images and language in job postings, websites, and other communications.
- Avoid phrases like “digital native,” “recent grad,” “early career professional,” “high energy.”
- Include age as part of diversity training and awareness-building efforts throughout the organization.
- Train recruiters and hiring managers to avoid age-biased assumptions about ability, salary requirements, and tenure.
- Offer flexible work options, including flexible hours, part-time work and phased retirement.
The guide also points out myths about the older worker, including:
In addition, the guide includes an extensive list of resources, tools, and toolkits for employers.
The guide – Age is Now a Strategic Imperative: An Employers Guide to Engaging Older Workers – is sponsored by the Age-Friendly Institute.