As unemployment numbers continue to fall, employers are struggling to find qualified workers to fill key roles. New apps and new HR practices are helping to circumvent the age biases that have been shutting out workers over 50, while older entrepreneurs are creating their own opportunities, and a new kind of startup mentality.
Earlier this year, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate for workers over 55 was just 3.2 percent, compared to 4.1 percent for the overall workforce. HR pro Julie Tappero offers some tips to companies who want to attract seasoned workers:
Identify and Address Age Bias
Even the best-intentioned employer may be demonstrating unconscious age bias, such as using photos on their website that feature only young team members. Recruitment tools should show in images and words that people with experience are valued and will feel welcome in your workplace.
Don’t Assume You Can’t Afford Someone with Lots of Experience
Salaries are negotiable, and benefits like flexible work schedules and learning opportunities can be just as appealing to someone who has been in the workforce many years.
Offer Alternatives to Full Retirement
As we’re seeing over and over, U.S. workers are putting off retirement for financial reasons as well as a desire to keep contributing. Again, flexible schedules, part-time projects, and other perks can be used as a way not only to attract but also retain older workers.
Read the full article: Unlocking the Potential of Older Workers
HR automation practices that filter out resumes and candidates based on titles and dates have been found time and again to be biased against older workers. Two new apps are helping to match older job seekers with opportunities, while providing hiring companies with the experienced workers they need, writes Richard Eisenberg of Next Avenue.
Tilr is a platform that is “not only age and gender agnostic, but also title agnostic. We look at skills as the main building bloc of the new recruitment cycle,” says CEO Carisa Miklusak. So where automated filters may screen out someone who has held a senior title or who may not have the right keywords on their resume, the Tilr app lets users indicate the skills they have to offer. “The employer knows the person will be qualified and can perform the duties and tasks but doesn’t know what job the person had last or his age,” says Miklusak. This also opens new opportunities to the job seeker that would not have been available to them via traditional recruitment methods.
WAHVE (Work at Home Vintage Experts) is geared toward insurance and accounting professionals over 50. Like many verticals, the insurance industry recognized that their professional workforce was aging and that institutional knowledge was being lost as they retired. WAHVE helps them fill that void with remote workers who are experts and want to stay engaged as they reach retirement age. Most WAHVE workers are women; many are minorities.
Read the full article: 2 Nifty Disruptors Helping Older People Get Jobs
Technology isn’t just creating opportunities for job seekers. Older entrepreneurs are finding success creating apps and services that address the needs of our aging population. In Forbes, Kitty Knowles spoke with four female startup founders over 50, who are proof that age and experience can make all the difference in the success of an endeavor.
- Suzanne Nobel is the founder of Frugl, a daily deals and experiences app that helps users “live their best life”. When her children left home, she was free to sell her home and use the equity to help fund her business. “The business network I have accrued over 30 years has helped in a variety of ways including in raising investment, marketing and budgeting,” she says.
- Prompt is an app that helps users maintain their social and physical activity through reminders and community connections. Founder Mary Matthews says, “There’s a massive opportunity to create new products and services driven by the experiences and insights of older founders. Why is there still an obsession with the youth market, when this is the fastest-growing section of the population in the industrialized world?”
- Welldoing.org connects clients with the therapist who’s right for them. Founder Louise Chunn says, “My generation are not digital natives, but we’ve been learning new things all our lives. I think if you start something new when you’re already more than halfway through your life, you are probably pretty committed to making it a success, and less likely to walk away because it’s hard.”
- The Chineke! Foundation champions change and diversity in classical music. “Startups have a reputation for being run by dynamic young people trying to realize a fantastic new idea, but what is often forgotten is that older, more experienced business people and investors also play a key role in their success. They support the development of the business, both with their knowledge and industry contacts and with capital”, says founder Chi-chi Nwanoku.
Read the full article: We All Need Older Female Founders