According to AARP, 61% of adults over the age of 45 who participated in a survey, said they have seen, or experienced discrimination based on age. In the current climate of low unemployment when it is hard to find good candidates, it is important to welcome every potential candidate – including those that are over the age of 45.
AARP predicts that the number of workers who are 50+ will increase by 62% by 2022, compared to 2002 levels.
We tend to think that those over 45 years of age, may no longer be looking for work, or may not be a good hire. But there are lots of reasons why they make excellent candidates that are highly motivated and engaged.
In addition to the money motivator, 91% of older workers said they wanted to continue to work to stay mentally active, 83% said they enjoy work, and 83% said it gave them something interesting to do.
Employers may sometimes discriminate because they believe that retired people may have less energy. But according to recent studies, the opposite may be true. Those under 45 years of age are more likely to be exhausted as they care for children, etc., and over 45 years old are more likely to be the least exhausted.
Older candidates can fill every type of position, not just executive level positions. To accommodate older candidates, employers may want to consider offering part time work, and/or being flexible on time off, but older candidates are self-motivated and are likely to stay with your organization for a longer period.
AARP has a pledge that employers can sign showing their commitment to equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of their age. Several food and beverage manufacturing companies have signed the pledge, including Nestle and Variety Food Sources.