There‘s much discussion about Generation Y and the benefits we bring to the workforce, but what about the Baby Boomers who are often times overlooked? This generation is 76 million strong and Boomers are now working far beyond the retirement age. According to the Labor of Bureau statistics, the labor force will continue to age, with the annual growth rate of the 55-and-older group projected to be 4.1 percent, 4 times the rate of growth of the overall labor force. By contrast, the annual growth rate of the 25-to-54-year age group will be 0.3 percent, and that of the young age group consisting of 16-to-24-year-olds will be essentially flat. They might not be as technologically savvy as us Millenials, but let’s not forget about the Baby Boomers because they aren’t going anywhere any time soon!
As a millennial, here is my argument for why businesses should hire older workers:
• Experience. Older workers might not know the in’s and outs of social media and smart phones, but they possess experience that you can’t teach or replace. While they’re not always tech savvy, they have lived in times where Google didn’t exist and you had to figure things out using your own brain, not a search engine. Millennials are exceptionally productive, but what would one do if say, the internet crashed? I know I’d stop, drop and roll because the world must be ending.
• Loyalty. Unlike Millennials, Boomers are dedicated and loyal to their employers. “Job hopping” is a second nature to Millennials, while Boomers grew up in a world where changing jobs was less prevalent. The Boomer generation is more interested in job stability, whereas a millennial is more interested in climbing the corporate ladder and doing so as quickly as possible.
• Strong networks. Older workers have been in the workforce longer and they have had plenty of practice networking throughout their career. According to a study conducted by The Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, 46.3 percent of employer respondents said that their older employees have stronger professional networks and client networks compared to 30 percent who said the same about their younger workers.
• Co-Mentorship. We are seeing extraordinary change in the workplace due to the existence of three generations; Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. Regardless of what generation you are categorized into, you can learn new skills and gain knowledge from collaborating with a co-worker of another generation. Each generation brings a different set of skills to the table and co-mentorships will generate a harmonious environment and create well-rounded employees of all ages!
Progressive companies will realize that employing Baby Boomers may be a corrective aid to the growing employment gap. So, win today’s war for talent by utilizing the large talent pool of older workers.
For more information on hiring older workers, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at AskUs@genesishrsolutions.com or 800-367-8367.
Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.