Mature-Aged Workers: How Businesses Can Adapt

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

For many businesses, mature workers form an increasing percentage of the workforce. Forward-thinking companies now realise that older employees offer a wealth of skills and experience. While mature workers must always look for the right opportunities, companies can take a number of steps to recruit and keep these employees. Help your business adapt to an older workforce with these five basic strategies.

Make sure you have the right policy

It’s vital that your business offers equal employment opportunities for all candidates. Make sure that your business’s policy specifically states that age (or any assumption of age) does not affect recruitment decisions, and display this information prominently on job advertisements. Remember that some people won’t always know you welcome their application unless you tell them.

Target your recruitment advertising

Focus some of your recruitment advertising on more mature experienced workers. For example, remember that some of your potential recruits aren’t very active on social networks, so it’s worth advertising your vacancies in other places. Use local and national newspapers, as well as specialist magazines and press. Some websites and forums cater specifically for older workers, and offer a good place to find high-quality recruits.

Offer flexible working arrangements

Mature workers will often benefit from more flexible working arrangements. Mature employees may not always want full-time roles, so part-time hours and job sharing can work very well. Don’t assume that everyone wants to go straight from full-time work to retirement, either. Encourage older employees to balance the time they spend in the office and at home, and allow people to gradually cut the number of hours they work.

Manage development opportunities

It’s vital that development opportunities are available to all your employees. For example, don’t assume that a mature worker is automatically not interested in a promotion opportunity. Mature workers are often still keen to broaden their career prospects, and they can bring valuable experience to most roles.

Consider any reasonable adjustments you need to make

Mature-aged workers sometimes need employers to make reasonable adjustments. For example, mature employees may not find it easy to spend all day on their feet, and may struggle with some physical work. Employers should make reasonable adjustments to accommodate all employees. Rotate repetitive tasks, and regularly assess working arrangements, to make sure you continue to protect your employees’ health.

Mature, experienced workers can add a lot of value to your business, so it’s important to recognise the merits of a mature workforce. Encourage diversity in the workplace, and update your policies and processes to help older employees continue to enjoy rewarding careers.

To learn more about the writer Jeanette Hannan and Résumés for Results please visit out website.