Could the over 50s solve your recruitment dilemas?
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there has been a large drop in the number of over 50s in work since COVID. In the period May to July 2022, there were almost 387,000 less economically active over 50s than there were before COVID. Now many of them want to return to the job market, they just need help to do so.
Why have the over 50s been leaving employment?
Some had positive reasons for wanting to stop work. According to ONS figures, of those aged 50-59:
- 25% had chosen to retire early
- 18% had wanted a change in lifestyle
I fit into the category of being over 50 and wanting a change in lifestyle. While I am very much still working as normal, this is what now greets me at the end of my lunchtime walk:
Sadly, others felt forced to leave work due to:
- Being made redundant and not finding alternative work
- Not feeling supported
- Caring responsibilities
- Illness or disability
What now for the over 50s
Many of us are not ready to hang up our working boots just yet. The ONS found that 72% of those aged 50-59 would consider returning to work. We over 50s have plenty of years left in us yet.
The stereotype is that we don’t embrace change. Hang on a minute, we were the ones who had to learn how to use computers and mobile phones when they first came in. I can assure you they weren’t the intuitive, helpful tools they are today. In an ageing population, our experience and ideas could be very valuable to your business.
So what can you do?
You may already be aware that age is a protected characteristic under employment law. There are things that are important to us that will help you recruit and retain the over 50s such as:
- Flexibility and understanding around things like caring responsibilities.
- Offering continued challenge and development. Use us to pass on knowledge to the next generation.
- Support with health and wellbeing.
- Being flexible in how you recruit. Some haven’t had the opportunity to learn about online meetings so may find them a little daunting at interview.
The Centre for Aging Better have produced guidance for employers looking to recruit and retain older workers.
I have no intention of retiring for many years yet. Nor have many that were in my school year. If you need any help or support in tapping into this market, please contact me.