Why You Can't Count Out Older Candidates

Joseph Stubblebine
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Many businesses, particularly those that work with cutting-edge technology or communication, exhibit a preference for younger employees. For HR professionals, however, it is crucial to consider older workers. In comparison with younger workers, experienced candidates bring different skills and valuable professional expertise to the table. By including them in your hiring process, you can comply with age discrimination laws and avoid missing out on excellent candidates.

For human resources professionals, team building is an ongoing challenge. Part of the process involves finding people who complement each other and bring different skills to the group. Younger candidates can bring technological expertise and new ideas, but in many professional situations, there is no substitute for experience. Workers who have been in the workforce for years have invaluable experience navigating tense client meetings, communicating effectively, and sniffing out changes in the industry. Older workers also tend to have larger professional networks, which can translate to increased business or profitable partnerships. In many cases, older professionals can help you create a stronger and more complete team.

When it comes to hiring an employee, many HR professionals stick with younger candidates who can bring a sense of excitement and energy to clients. In doing so, they miss out on the sense of credibility and stability that older workers bring to a company. If you have older clients—particularly those with an old school mentality—you may find that they feel more comfortable and secure working with older team members. Plus, their additional years of experience can make your company look more established, which helps when you're trying to land bigger clients.

If your company is looking to reduce employee turnover, older workers can be valuable assets. Unlike younger employees, who tend to switch jobs more frequently as they move up the career ladder, older employees are more likely to stay in one place. Older employees tend to be more established, particularly when they have families who are also embedded in the community. As a result, you can cut back on recruiting, hiring, and training costs.

Finally, you should avoid counting out older workers for legal reasons. According to a recent story from Workforce, it is your company's responsibility to understand how the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to your business. The act prohibits you from discriminating against workers over the age of forty in all types of business practices, including hiring. By giving older candidates equal consideration when hiring an employee, you can keep your company safe from legal ramifications.

For most companies, older workers provide a valuable balance of experience and energy. They can bring new ideas to a company with a younger workforce and create the impression of stability. Plus, by giving them equal consideration in the hiring process, you can help your company avoid damaging age discrimination issues.



(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)


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