HR Insights

Hiring Best Practices for Boomers & Seniors

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February 25, 2013


According to U.S. News & World Report, for the next 20 years, 10,000 people each day will reach the retirement age of 65. With many Baby Boomers leaving the workforce, others have been forced to remain working due to the financial restraints of a struggling economy. Yet employers aren’t worried – a study by HR consultancy firm Hewitt Associates indicates that 61 percent of U.S. companies have or plan to establish employment programs targeted at retirement-age workers (Boomers or Seniors).

senior executiveAs an employer, what are the benefits of hiring Boomers and Seniors?

  • Experience: Boomers and Seniors have extensive work experience that spans decades. From surviving previous economic downturns to managing a variety of employees effectively, your company could benefit from the knowledge and varied skill set of the Boomer and Senior generations.
  • Loyalty: Older generations are half as likely to switch employers as generation X or generation Y employees, according to a 2012 MetLife survey. These employees tend to be appreciative of their jobs and less concerned about promotions.
  • Reliability: You can generally count on Boomer and Senior workers to show up on time every day and perform their jobs in a consistent manner. This may be due to the fact that Boomer and Senior workers may have grown children and are thus not as distracted by parental duties or family distractions.
  • Less Dependent on Benefits: Because of Social Security and Medical benefits available to this generation, older workers are less concerned about employee benefits as part of their employment packages, when compared with younger workers.
  • Technology Awareness: Although Boomers and Seniors have had to learn how to incorporate new technologies on the job, and may require training in this area, don’t assume they are clueless when it comes to technology use.
  • Great Service Professionals: These generations grew up in a tradition of respect, where people made eye contact with one another, smiled, and communicated effectively with others. Thus many employers are hiring Boomers and Seniors for customer-facing positions such as sales or customer service.
  • Perfect for Part-time or On-Call Staffing Needs: Many retirement-age workers prefer part-time, seasonal or on-demand positions to supplement their income without the demands of a full-time job. For employers looking to supplement their employment gap during peak production schedules, Boomer and Seniors may be the perfect fit.

As you can see, the older generation of Baby Boomer and Senior workers offers more to an employer than wisdom and experience. Consider hiring these candidates as part of your diverse workforce, and help Boomers and Seniors gain meaningful jobs while you benefit from their loyalty, flexibility and hard-working spirit.