“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Some companies seem to recruit and manage their personnel with this expression. Out with the older employees and in with the brand new. However, your business could suffer by solely focusing on hiring youthful workers. Potentially, you are dismissing skills and qualities that only come with time.
Yes, there are benefits to employing young talent, but older workers also bring a lot to the table. In fact, a partnership between your more and less experienced employees may be just what your company needs. Indeed, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re surveying your current staff and recruiting new hires. Before you neglect your over-fifty employees or decline a candidate with 20 or more years of experience, keep reading.
Here are six things you’re missing out on by not hiring and maintaining senior employees.
Older employees typically have both a lengthy and comprehensive history. With life experiences and likely a few career changes to their name, they’ll have maturity and expertise. Their skills might cross into several different industries. Even if it doesn’t seem applicable to your company, that type of experience comes in handy.
You might find them taking the lead if your business expands into a new sector, a client requires specific service, or you need insight on marketing tactics. Experienced workers tend to have valuable hands-on knowledge. Also, working before and into the digital age gives them a unique perspective. They will often understand the history and underlying principles of processes or skills that younger employees won’t know.
2. Work Ethic
Experienced workers know what it takes to do a good job. They are usually skilled at managing time and handling multiple projects. Your older employees won’t be scared away by a bit of hard work. Also, younger workers typically have some dramatic life changes in their future. Such significant changes are often behind their senior counterparts.
With a more settled lifestyle, your mature workers can stick around and focus on the job at hand. In effect, you’ll have less turnover and more loyalty. While newer workers search for the next step to success, seasoned workers worry less on moving around. This point doesn’t mean you can stop offering opportunities and room for growth. But if you keep them engaged, you’ll end up with long-term, reliable staff.
3. Team Players
Mature employees generally make great team players. Their experience lends to getting along with many different personalities and working styles. Your over-50 staff are also less likely to let their ego get in the way of a team effort. Older employees may also have a stabilizing effect on younger, less experienced team members.
Having seen the highs and lows of professional life, a senior employee will know how to handle various situations. Their demeanor is valuable in a crisis, and they will likely keep a cool head amid a catastrophe. Mistakes happen, and your older staff know it. If you want sound leadership in adverse situations, allow your more senior team members the opportunity to take charge.
4. Extensive Networks
Employees with long professional experience will have developed an extensive network of contacts. With countless business relationships, professional interactions, and general acquaintances, they’ll know who to call for any situation.
Perhaps you have a vacancy in your organization or a situation that requires specific skills. A mature worker will often know someone who’s right for the job or know someone to ask. Your company will save both time and funds with such an extensive network at your fingertips.
5. Increased Productivity
You’ll also find increased productivity and independent working among older employees. They require less oversight and tend to have more refined decision-making skills. You can trust a mature worker to work autonomously and navigate potentially tricky situations on their own.
Maturity typically means you’ll see a more measured approach to important decisions and less unwise or hasty choices. A decreased need for supervision or hand-holding allows managers to focus on their own pressing tasks. Also, younger employees facing challenges have another resource for assisting with difficult decisions. Thus, your older workers are not only productive, they’re also instrumental in increasing others’ productivity.
Senior employees are in a unique position to be valuable mentors to your younger workforce. Admittedly, mentorship opportunities are apparent in most of the previously mentioned benefits of older staff. Younger workers always have room to grow and develop in their roles and with the company.
The presence of more experienced employees can prove critical in guiding those less skilled to more success. A younger member of staff might resent a coworker obtaining a promotion. A senior member would be gratified to see a young person grow. They are often happy to pass along valuable knowledge and skills to the next generation of workers.
A company’s success depends heavily on a balanced, experienced, energetic workforce. Stay away from mistakes that you might see during the job interview. This kind of labor force requires youthful, passionate, and fearless individuals. But this also requires older, experienced, and wise individuals. A more senior worker can bring stability to your organization and play a critical role in creating a cohesive team.
Professional experience, work ethic, decision-making skills, extensive networks, and productivity are compelling reasons to attract, hire, and retain older workers. Your business will work best with a mix of young and old, fresh-faced and well-seasoned, and emphatic and unruffled employees. Hiring and keeping mature staff benefits everyone and has the most remarkable overall results.