You may not want to hear this, but the fight for top talent is about to get a lot more intense. Companies have been sitting on cash for quite a while and are finally investing in their businesses again. This means growth, which often includes hiring.
The search for talent is a lot like going to Disneyland. Most people enter the park and immediately turn right. It’s human nature. The smart people go left and avoid long lines.
In recruiting, most employers go right looking for movers and shakers. By that I mean, they look for up and coming talent when in fact there is an abundance of great talent on the other side of the gate where there are no lines. At first glance, this talent may not appear to be as desirable as the people everyone appears to be courting. I urge you to take a second look at workers who may be over the age of forty, but are still young at heart.
Here are five myths about hiring mature workers and tips to help you maximize their contributions.
1. Mature workers are lucky to have a job.If you believe this, then you must believe that “dreams really do come true.” In fact the opposite is true. You are lucky to have them in your employ. Why? Because they’ve experienced previous recessions and understand what is needed to rebuild after a company is forced to decimate their workforce. They understand commitment and are prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
2. They’ll work for peanuts. Really? Would you? Sure, some mature workers may appear to be hungry, but not for long. As the economy continues to improve all workers, including those over the age of forty, will have more choices. Pay your workers based on the value they contribute to your organization and you won’t have to worry about them leaving the moment a more filling offer comes along.
3. They are terrible with technology. That may have been the case ten years ago when you needed an advanced degree to operate a PC. However, a lot has changed since them. Today’s Boomers have had computers in their homes for years now. Many have had the benefit of having on-site technical help (also known as their children). They’ve also attended classes at their local Apple store and can probably outperform many of you when it comes to using technology.
4. They’ll tire easily. The Baby Boomers I know are more active than their children. They are used to competing with millions of others to make a name for themselves. They will work diligently until the job is done, even if this interferes with their 5:30 PM yoga class. Give them the job and then let them show you what they can do.
5. They are slower. Don’t confuse being careful with slowness. These are the employees who are going to review the financials one last time before sending them out. They will do something over again if it’s not quite right even if that means taking an extra ten minutes to complete the task. Allow them to do what you’d like all your employees to do—good work.
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