ONS figures released earlier this year stated that three-in-five over-50s have left the workforce sooner than planned since the pandemic started, opting to take early retirement.
The ‘Great Retirement’ absolutely can’t be ignored when considering the reasons for our talent shortage. But most of us are perhaps hesitant to hire new or promote current older workers.
But we know from experience that age is no barrier to achievement. The last two POTUS’s have been 70 and 78 respectively, and Warren Buffett is still going strong as Boss Man of his empire at 88. In fact, according to Guidant Financial’s SME Report 2022 [US SMEs], 57% of SME owners were 50 or above. Additionally, the average age of CEOs when they were hired for their roles at S&P 500 companies was 54 (a 15% increase in the average age since 2005).
Whether you’re in the B2C or B2B arena, the truth is that appealing to a wider audience with your messaging is crucial to success. But that’s not just true with marketing, product management and user experience – it’s true of hiring and promotion as well. With every advantage needed to procure and retain the best people, it would be remiss to not look at current and potential employees in the 50-70 age bracket.
While Internet Culture is all about insulting Baby Boomers and older Gen Xers, the unintended consequence can be that people feel isolated, particularly if the rest of your staff are younger, or if they’re not given a voice. It’s important to work on our unconscious bias, with ideas such as:
older people are slower to learn or grow
older people are bad at learning new technology
older people don’t have new ideas or are less creative than young people.
“Older employees bring together their accumulated experience, expertise and know-how for the benefit of their employerˮ
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