You’ve started a business. It’s growing, and naturally you need to build a team to sustain its growth. While listing the traits of ideal candidates you may factor in things such as qualifications, experience, reliability, independence … and the list goes on.
My guess is that you haven’t considered hiring a senior or retiree for the position.
Yet you might be wrong to discount older generations so quickly. “Older workers are a critical piece of the puzzle to meet the need for experience in the workforce,” says Frank Lonergan, CEO of ANCILE Solutions.
“The older worker brings several benefits to the organization, and the coming labor shortfall makes it imperative for organizations to overcome outdated concerns around hiring older workers.”
Retirees and seniors have much to offer to the community and can be a real asset for your startup too. According to Gerontologist and psychologist Ken Dychtwald Ph.D., “Nearly half (47%) of today’s retirees report that they have worked or plan to work during their retirement. An even greater percentage — 72% of boomer pre-retirees — say they want to keep working after they retire.”
Here’s a look at three ways your company can benefit from recruiting and hiring older workers and retirees:
Retirees don’t go through life without learning a thing or two.
Age doesn’t always equal wisdom, but finding the right pensioner to join your business may keep you from making certain mistakes and trusting the wrong people. Potential clients or suppliers may trick an eager, young entrepreneur with a flashy proposal which looks great on the outside, but hides a nasty surprise. Older people tend to be more cautious and by having them on your team you could save yourself from a lot of problems in the long term.
Where else can you find someone with over 40 years’ experience?
Perhaps 40 years sounds like a lot, but pensioners who have spent their life working in a particular field are probably very good at it. You can find pensioners with ample experience in accounting or administration, or in sales and marketing or even manual work such as mechanical installations. Why spend a lot of your limited startup time and budget to train someone new at the job when you’ve got seasoned persons able to do a stellar job from day one?
Older workers can be extremely flexible.
At my company, FIN, we have three pensioners working on a part-time basis. They normally work half days on weekdays, which works great for us as we normally need their skills in the morning to carry out mechanical installations. However, whenever we need them to stay longer or come in on Saturdays during times of high workload they are usually available at very short notice. This flexibility works great for us, but even better for our clients. That’s the beauty of having a team member that doesn’t have another job or young kids that depend on them.
Many pensioners are not interested in returning to full-time employment; they just retired from it. Instead they want to enjoy their retirement and use their skills to earn some extra money or simply because they might get bored at home. Hiring a senior or a retiree is a great step between your one person startup and your first employee.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sergio Zammit is the co-founder of FIN Ltd., a company specializing in building custom made fully automated machines. Sergio is also a consultant for budding entrepreneurs. Connect with @finmalta on Twitter.
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