Struggling to Fill Roles? It’s Time to Start Employing Older Workers

Posted in : HR Updates ROI on 5 April 2023
Olga Pollock
firmus energy
Issues covered: Diversity and Inclusion; Older Workers; Knowledge Sharing; Recruitment

If you’re struggling to fill roles, it’s probably time to start considering older workers, if you haven’t already done so. The labour market remains tight and most organisations could do well to actively recruit more mature workers who can offer a wealth of experience. Age diversity can bring many benefits, not least loyalty. Working in age-diverse teams promotes fresh perspectives, knowledge-sharing and improved problem-solving. When we consider start-ups, these tend to be made up of younger employees from around the ages of 20-35, but do they reflect their customer base? The answer, depending on the product, is probably no, yet older workers may well be more in tune with older customers within your market.

There are several advantages that older workers can bring to an organisation:

New ideas: an age-diverse workforce can be rich in new ideas and perspectives. The advantage of life experience allows many to weigh up the potential pros and cons of business-related scenarios.

Experience & knowledge: probably stating the obvious but years of work experience tends to lead to older workers being more confident in their abilities with many not being afraid to face new challenges or simply “get on with things” during the tough times. Younger staff are more likely to see their older peers as the “go-to” person and regard them as role models which in turn builds a sense of comradery within teams.

Enhanced problem-solving: having built up a repertoire of knowledge over the years, older workers can provide great insights into workplace problems and offer solutions based on real-life experience. They are also more likely to have dealt with conflict during the course of their employment and avoid shying-away from difficult situations.

Career progression: due to the benefit of experience, older workers are more likely to be ready to progress within their roles more quickly requiring less need for development than their younger cohorts; a win-win for their team and employer.

High commitment: often older workers are less likely to ‘jump ship’ to external opportunities. This in turn boosts staff retention levels.

Improved customer service: older workers will likely be able to establish rapport with more mature customers and often place value on providing great customer service.

The steps for effectively managing older workers are the same for staff of any age so it is important to dispel misconceptions around them being less agile, technophobic or more prone to sickness absence.

There is a huge untapped reserve of experienced, loyal and committed individuals who also have life experience in bucket loads.

Given the difficulties in filling vacancies that most of us continue to experience it is certainly worth developing a strategy to attract older workers before your competitors do.

Legal Island Training Resources for Your Staff

Diversity & Inclusion - The Importance of Conscious Inclusion

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This article is correct at 05/04/2023

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Olga Pollock
firmus energy

The main content of this article was provided by Olga Pollock. Contact telephone number is +44 (0)79 7389 3448 or email

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