Kerry Hanson wrote in the New York Times “Reaping the Benefits of an Aging Workforce”.
More and more we are hearing the stories of organizations with initiatives to bring new and existing older employees into programs that can be welcoming to their unique needs. With a worker shortage forecasted in many industries, companies can’t ignore the pool of employees who are eager to work and just need some flexibility with health matters or caregiving for a parent.
Hanson sites the Bureau of Labor Statistics with these eye-popping numbers
Two age groups, 65 to 74 years old and 75 and older, are projected to have faster annual rates of labor force growth than that of any others, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the decade from 2014 to 2024, the labor force growth rate for 65- to 74-year-olds is expected to be about 4.5 percent annually, and about 6.4 percent annually for those 75 and older.
Will our companies be prepared to accommodate these numbers? There remain policies and attitudes that could get in the way. Smart firms will have begun to find ways to welcome the workers and share their decades of institutional knowledge.
A rising number of role-model employers, however, are hiring, retaining and supporting workers over 50. Lee Spring was among 13 businesses and nonprofits based in New York City that recently received Age Smart Employer Awards through the program, now in its third year, that is a project of the Columbia Aging Center at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
“We’ve increased our life expectancy by 50 percent in the last 100 years,” said Dr. Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School. “Now we have to design society for longer lives, and these awards, I think, are a linchpin of that.”
The article continues with four other examples of firms who are investing in programs meant to welcome older workers with promising results.
Peggy Yu, the COO of Startup Institute writes in Forbes “How The Most Innovative Companies Will Reap The Benefits Of Ageism”.
Yu challenges those who are “recruiting, hiring, building, and leading teams”.
Hire for the team, not the individual
Before a job description is written, take a comprehensive assessment of the team this new person will join.
- What are the strengths and existing skill sets of the team?
- How well is this team currently performing?
- What is missing from the team based on the performance goals of the team?
- Then, tailor the job description to the missing skills and characteristics. Yes, that means if there’s a need for multiple Product Manager roles in a company, the job description may look vastly different for each role, depending upon the existing skillset and personality mix of each team.
She concludes that:
It becomes less about reading someone’s experience in chronological order and noticing gaps in the resume or the number of pages in the CV, and more about finding pockets of experience and skills that will amplify the performance of a team.
Read the full article: How The Most Innovative Companies Will Reap The Benefits Of Ageism