Over the past decade, Japan has faced a problem: too few workers for an explosion of jobs available. Now, Recruit, a company that focuses on staffing solutions, has introduced a potential answer — an app that promotes the rehiring of retired employees.
In the midst of the Great Resignation, could turning to older workers be a way forward? In the past, these workers have so often faced discrimination when it comes to hiring and employment practices. But this is not only unfair (and illegal) to more seasoned professionals — it also means employers could very well be missing out on the many benefits these workers bring to the table.
The average age of entrepreneurs at the time they founded their companies is 42, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review. Compared with founders with no relevant experience, entrepreneurs with at least three years of previous work experience were 85% more likely to launch a successful startup.
Plus, according to the same study, younger founders are less common in industries aside from tech. For example, in industries such as oil and gas or biotechnology, the average founding age is around 47. In fact, even in the software and tech field, which is notorious for youthful superstars, many of the real success stories — Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Page, to name a few — achieved their greatest successes when they had reached middle age.
This is all to say that experience plays a huge role in how well people do their work.
Reliability is an important factor for employers. They need workers who they can count on to be productive and not waste company time.
A study comparing the productivity of young adults (20–31) and that of older adults (65–80) on 12 various tasks over 100 days found that the performance of the older group was more stable than that of those in the younger group.
Millennials face a certain stigma in the workplace — they’re known for job-hopping. This isn’t just speculation. A Gallup report found that they are three times more likely than their older counterparts to say that they’ve changed jobs in the previous year.
That means that older workers tend to be more loyal. This helps save employers time and money — the recruiting and hiring process is involved and expensive.
Workers who have been in the industry, or even a single company, for the long haul, know the ins and outs of that field. They are able to offer consistency in performance and have gotten to know what customers or clients expect. Newer workers, on the other hand, require more of a learning curve as they adjust to expectations and the goings-on.
That doesn’t mean that less seasoned workers are bad — they simply don’t have the experience that older workers bring to the job. But this is another benefit of older workers: they can offer guidance and mentorship to their younger, less experienced counterparts. This is critical in making your employee base stronger and will make both younger and older employees feel more valued.
Consumers respect brands that value diversity, and that includes hiring workers from different ages and backgrounds. This will reflect positively on your company and demonstrate that your words and your actions align, which, in turn, will allow you to gain and retain customers and clients.
While chronological resumes are the most common type candidates use, they aren’t the only format — nor are they the best for presenting your qualifications as an older worker. A combination resume, which emphasizes your skills and competencies, is a great choice, for example.
No matter how old you are or what your field is, it’s always important to tailor your resume according to the specific position. Make sure to highlight the skills and experience that are most appropriate for that particular position.
Some employers worry that older employees won’t be able to learn newer practices, tools and technologies in their field. Misguided as it may be, this does mean you will often need to go the extra mile to prove that you can learn and grow. Perhaps, for example, you might earn a certification or undergo training in an industry-related technology.
If you’ve been in the workforce for many years, chances are, experiences that occurred decades ago aren’t as relevant as those that happened more recently, barring, of course, earning important degrees or credentials, among some other accomplishments. Rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of your work experience from a long time ago, consider condensing those achievements into a single section, while emphasizing your more recent work history in greater detail.
Ultimately, you want to showcase your evolution as a worker and your most relevant qualities — because your skills and strengths are valuable.
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.