The benefits of employing the over 50s

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Eleven team For employers

The benefits of employing the over 50s

Are you guilty of passing over CVs from candidates in their 50s? Do you think that younger people have more to offer? Then think again.

Whilst officially, age discrimination is illegal, the truth is that many employers have an unconscious bias that’s hard to shift. This is something that we’re keen to change.

We receive a lot of CVs from candidates over 50, who are back on the job market after long periods of employment.

Forget flighty Millennials who bounce from job to job, if its loyalty, stability and commitment that you’re looking for. Look again at the over 50s. In our experience, this group of people tend to stay in roles that they land, giving you continuity and avoiding any disruption caused from re-starting the recruitment process a couple of years down the line.

According to Keeley Robinson, one of our consultants: “In the current climate where people are not necessarily looking to retire at 60 or 65 and are generally living longer, someone in their early 50s could give a prospective employer 15 years and perhaps most importantly bring to the table a wealth of experience.”

Age is an asset

As well as wisdom, resilience and dedication, most older candidates have bags of experience and a long track record of success to prove it. They’ve seen all the changes over the last few decades and can use their experience to solve problems that would stump most younger people. And they’re not afraid of getting their hands dirty - quite literally - with many well-versed in dismantling and repairing machinery.

For those companies targeting older customers or that have long-standing business agreements in place where building relationships is key, employing the over 50s can prove beneficial.

This is very much the case in the fuels sector as our fuels sector specialist, Jane New reports: “Fuels is definitely a sector where people know each other and have often worked together at some point. Knowledge of the industry and clients is frequently key in our roles, so age is an asset.”

And don’t just take our word for it

Rory Clarke, managing director at J Rix & Sons, welcomes applications from the over 50s: “If not, we would find that the already tight labour market would be even more constricted. With some of our teams, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average age was 50+ and we see a number of them work beyond what was previously the default retirement age of 65.

“The over 50s are work ready, usually come with a good work ethic and know what is expected of them. Unfortunately this is often not the case with young people, especially if it is their first experience of work.”

Jodie Allan, assistant manager at James D Bilsland agrees: Employees over 50 have a vast amount of skills and knowledge, which can only be learned with time. They prove to be good role models and mentors to younger workers as they have more experience in the workplace. We have found the majority of over 50s to be very dependable and less likely to switch jobs as ‘cash is not king’ and they want job security, satisfaction and above all, else to feel content and happy at their work with a good work-life balance.”

Consider the options

Still not convinced? Then why not test the water by offering temporary, part-time or consultancy roles. From what we’ve seen, the over 50s are prepared to graft and take on smaller roles as a way back in and to prove their worth. Don’t write them off. We’re pretty sure you’ll like what you see.