Why You Should Hire Mature Workers
Nonprofits could avoid a predicted labor shortage by learning how to attract older workers who might be able to fill the expected shortfall. Some economists forecast a shortage of 35 million workers by 2030, largely caused by the retirement of some of the nation's 77 million baby boomers, a majority of whom are now 50 or older.
Many of those older workers are planning to work during their retirement years. AARP has found that of workers aged 45-74, 69 percent plan to continue working beyond retirement age; and more than a third (34 percent) want to work part-time. But most don't want to keep doing the same thing.
Nonprofits are well positioned to recruit older workers. Nearly two-thirds of baby boomers say they want to work for a nonprofit or the government after they retire. But, beware. Baby Boomers want a challenge, not a brain-freezing, super-simple job that is more likely to put them to sleep than turn them on.
What Are the Advantages Of Older Workers?
- they are far more reliable than younger workers.
- they are more likely to have crucial skills such as speaking and writing
- they are eager to learn new skills
- they are savvy about new technology
- their turnover is low
How Do You Attract Older Workers?
Money is less important to these workers than certain perks such as:
- flexible schedules
- job sharing
- free training
- free use of your facility, services, free child care for grandchildren, free use of computers, etc.
In addition, you should develop policies that prohibit giving employees certain types of jobs based on their age; don't relegate part-time employees to entry-level or nonmanagerial work; and provide benefits packages that include health insurance and a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan. Make this available to both full and part-time workers.
How Do You Find and Recruit Older Workers?
- Encourage current employees to work beyond retirement by offering reduced hours.
- Stay in touch with your already retired workers.
- Recruit older workers by using employment services targeted at this group, such as SeniorJobBank.org.
- Participate in Veterans Administration job fairs.
- Make sure your marketing materials show older people as staff, volunteers, and as recipients of your services.
- Collaborate with local organizations that work with older people to create customized job fairs.
- Let your membership know that you are interested in retired workers and then see how well word-of-mouth works.
The trend is obvious...older employees are here and more are coming. Nonprofits provide an ideal environment for these valuable and skilled folks.