10 Aug 2022, 1:31 pm
Employers seeking to recruit and retain a productive workforce should offer support to those aged over 55 to benefit from the skills, experience, knowledge transfer, network and diversity of thought that older people bring to the workplace.
The need to harness the potential of the over 55s is especially important given the shortages of skilled labour being reported globally.
Recent figures show there are a record number of job vacancies in the UK. It has been suggested that one reason for this could be that older workers are leaving the workforce at a higher rate than before. The UK is not alone in this problem. Other countries, such as the Netherlands, are reporting record-breaking shortages on the labour market too.
According to the UK’s Centre for Ageing Better’s “Shut out” report, health is the leading reason why people aged 50-64 are out of work. Caring responsibilities, inflexible working practices and ageism are also reasons why older adults leave the workforce and are barriers to those trying to re-enter.
Many employers do not consider age when looking to improve diversity and inclusion in recruitment
According to the age diversity charter document of the Dutch Social-Economic Council, age discrimination is the discrimination ground most experienced by persons over 50. There are persistent prejudices about the over 55s that negatively impact their access to the labour market. The lack of investment in sustainable employability by employers and employees is also flagged as a problem.
The “Shut out” report shows that many employers do not consider age when looking to improve diversity and inclusion in recruitment. It also highlighted that the type of language used in job advertisements can deter older workers from applying.
There are measures employers can take to counter these barriers:
These initiatives, together with supporting skills development throughout a working life, will demonstrate that employers value the skills and experience of older workers. It will also show they acknowledge the benefits of a multigenerational workforce.
Pinsent Masons is hosting a webinar on retaining the skills and experience of the over 55’s on Thursday 15 September on recruitment and retention of over 55’s as part of its global campaign on the race for talent. You can register to attend this free event.
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