Friday, 18 November 2022 08:27

Attracting Over 50s Returners

A recent survey by the job board company CV-Library has revealed that 91% of inactive workers in the 50-64 age bracket are planning to return to the job market. That’s good news for an economy that remains in a position of record vacancies.

Employers who wish to take advantage of this turnaround may wish to modify their recruitment strategies or look at ways to make themselves more attractive to this demographic. Of course, avoiding anything that could be construed as age discrimination must always be a consideration, remembering that discriminating against the young is equally as wrong as discriminating against the old.

This return to work by the over 50s, reverses the trend we saw during and immediately after the Covid pandemic when many employees of a certain age were electing to quit their jobs. The stresses of the pandemic, including the loss of loved ones, brought about a re-evaluation of life goals. A desire to simply retire early and enjoy the latter years became the main reason for giving up work early.

These early retirees probably didn’t factor in the current cost of living crisis, and now, as they feel its grip they are being propelled back to the jobs market. Indeed, according to the CV-Library survey, 72% of the 2500 respondents cited increases in the cost of living as their reason for returning to work.

Older employees come with a lot of advantages. Their attitude to work is probably quite deeply entrenched and born from parents and grandparents for whom tough manual work and long hours was the norm. They will also have experience, if not specifically in the job that you have on offer, perhaps of something from which they can transfer skills; and very likely they will be experienced in interacting with people generally.

They’re also less susceptible to common colds and other common infections as there is more chance they have already caught them and have immunity.

To be attractive to these returners then, employers need to look at what they have on offer. If income is the predominant motive to re-join the workforce, then anything that doesn’t offer a consistent and regular income probably isn’t going to provide enough incentive.

Flexibility is also likely to score highly in the appeal stakes. This group are having to let go of what may have been a long-held dream of early retirement. Returning to work full time may be too much of a shock to the system so being open to discussions for part-time/flexible options might give you the edge.

Consider advertising full time jobs as potential job-share to broaden the appeal. Potential candidates might even act as your recruiter to fill the shared role. Extra holiday may also give you an edge, particularly as this group are less likely to want to take holiday during peak periods such as school holidays.

The second reason given in the survey for returning to work was, surprisingly perhaps, boredom. Over 50s these days want to be active, involved and have purpose. From an employer’s point of view, enthusiastic employees are ready to learn and prepared to undergo training. Again, you may be surprised at the extent of transferable skills that the over 50s have to offer.

And also, consider their adaptability. Boomers, as they might be referred to, have lived and worked through the most dramatic technological advances in the history of mankind. From a time where having a landline telephone wasn’t a ‘given’ to a point where high-speed broadband connects most homes to the Internet and relatives in Australia can be face-timed on a hand-held device. When it comes to adapting to change, there is no group of people with more experience. Underestimate it at your peril.

With so many advantages to employing the over 50s, you might wonder why you would ever consider employing younger people. As mentioned earlier, age discrimination cuts both ways, so whilst you can highlight the elements of a job that might make it more attractive to the older generation, you can’t turn down younger applicants purely because of their age. In fact, evidence suggests that the younger generation want flexibility and part-time roles too.

For further help and support with your recruitment strategy, or simply for a reassuring confirmation that your job advert isn’t age discriminatory, call us on 01452 331331 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 925 times Last modified on Friday, 18 November 2022 08:37


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