5 Advantages to Hiring Workers Over 50

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By Betty Wang, JD on September 16, 2013 10:02 AM

Are there advantages to hiring older workers? Many businesses are finding that there are. Around 200 employers including Google and AT&T have signed an AARP pledge to recognize the value of older employees and to consider applicants over 50, The Associated Press reports.

In this day and age, many business owners try to steer clear of hiring workers over 50. This is often due to stereotypes that older employees are slower, don't understand new technology, and just lack energy in general. However, these perceptions couldn't be further from the truth.

Many employers are finding that older workers bring many benefits to a job that young workers may lack. Here are five advantages to hiring workers over 50:

  • Experience. "There's no experience like experience," the CEO of Tofutti, where a third of their workers are over 50, told the AP. "I can't put an ad saying, 'Older people wanted,' but there's no comparison." Older employees have been out in the field for far longer than younger workers who are just starting out in their careers. More experience yields a smoother, more efficient operation, not to mention less risk of liability for employers.
  • Loyalty. The one guarantee that older workers can often ensure is proven loyalty. The easiest way to determine this is by looking at their resume -- the more years they've stayed with a company, the more loyal it's often presumed they are. This is a natural benefit that older workers bring to the table; younger workers just don't have the years to prove their potential loyalty just yet.
  • Stability. With proven loyalty comes many other perks as well. An older, loyal worker who will stay with your business longer can help to maintain stability. This way, you can ensure that certain benefits offered to long term employees are worth the investment.
  • Avoiding age discrimination. Hiring an older worker strictly to avoid a discrimination suit obviously isn't the way to go. But if an older worker is indeed the best fit for your company, you'll not only get a more experienced employee, but you also (likely) won't be sued.
  • They won't be as distracted by social media. As useful and prevalent as it may be, social media can also be very distracting, especially for younger workers who can't seem to put down their smartphones. Older employees have the experience of living in a time where social media didn't even exist. In turn, this could possibly mean better communication skills, a longer attention span, and a better focus in general.

There you have it. Who said out with the old, in with the new? As some of the world's top businesses would say, they may just want to rethink that.

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