The first step in tapping into the talent that exists within the older workforce is effective recruitment. To reach out successfully to this qualified pool of job candidates, hiring companies should:
- Advertise available positions with associations and career sites that are designed to reach seniors
- Post job openings in locations frequented by seniors, (i.e. churches, pharmacies, etc.)
- Create senior-friendly job postings that focus on experience and skills
- Offer flexible work arrangements and benefits
Recruiting/Job Posting Resources
In addition to the typical disability recruiting and job posting resources, there are several organizations that focus on older workers:
- Senior Community Service Employment Program: places seniors in non-profit and public facilities for subsidized work-based and community training.
- The Senior Source: connects employers with experienced and qualified older workers.
- State Offices of the Aging : provide information on many topics related to aging, including employment.
Attracting Older Applicants
Flexible work arrangements can be key to attracting older applicants. These can include:
- Part-time positions: Many older workers want to continue working, but would prefer to do so on a part-time basis.
- Job sharing: Allows valued employees, both older and younger, to work less than full time. The company benefits from the enhanced skill sets that result when two people share a single job.
- Temporary positions: Temporary replacement workers are needed periodically during vacation time, FLMA leaves, or special projects. Companies are realizing the benefit of hiring from their pool of retirees because these former employees are well acquainted with the company's business practices and do not require training to fill a temporary position.
- Seasonal positions: Some older workers prefer to work only at certain times of year or at different locations depending on the time of year.
- Snowbird programs: In these programs employees shuttle between two locations seasonally. This often appeals to older workers who seek warmer climates in the winter months and cooler climates in the summer. Especially good for retail and heath care service sectors in which the customer base also migrates from north to south in the winter months. Companies with active snowbird programs include: CVS, Home Depot and Caronelet Health Network.
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Older Workers<http://stats.bls.gov/spotlight/2008/older_workers/>
This Bureau of Labor Statistics report details the changing age demographics of the U.S. workforce. It includes discussion of the increasing number of older individuals in workforce, patterns of employment among these older workers, and projected age trends in coming years.
Return to Work Toolkit<http://www.dol.gov/odep/return-to-work/index.htm>
This Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy resource provides information, tools, strategies and resources to assist employees and employers with the return-to-work process.
Staying Ahead of the Curve 2013: The AARP Multicultural Work and Career Study<http://www.aarp.org/work/work-life/info-10-2008/2007_Staying_Ahead_of_the_Curve.html>
This 2013 report by AARP examines the experiences, opinions and expectations of older workers and provides examples of workforce practices employers have engaged in to address the needs of an aging workforce.
Employees Who Are Aging <http://askjan.org/media/aging.html>
This resource from the Job Accommodation Network's Accommodation and Compliance Series addresses issues relating to the aging workforce and considerations for accommodations and flexibility in the workplace.
Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Considerations for Employers<http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=231&type=topic&id=18Link >
This Institute for Community Inclusion brief discusses the motivational factors that drive companies to focus on older workers, the cultural contexts of businesses that have undertaken these practices, and the range of recruitment and retention practices and initiatives used by employers. It also offer suggestions to employers on the relevance of the findings to their own workplace practices, initiatives, and cultures.