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We all know that vintage cars command a higher price, aged cheese is higher in calcium and aged wine taste better. If this is the case, why do we think that, when it comes to replacing an employee, younger is better?
Too often, mature candidates are not given fair consideration for jobs. Younger candidates, on the other hand, may be hired even though they have less experience. This decision can be due to concerns over higher salary expectations, technology (learning curve) questions, concern over how a younger manager manages an older employee or fear of employee retirements. However, in today's economy, experienced employees are not ready to retire. With the help of technology and improved health care, mature candidates are staying in the work force longer and are holding their own against younger counterparts.
So, what are the top six reasons one should consider a more mature candidate for open positions?
This could include having been cross- trained to perform every position in the company, familiarity with the needs and desires of long time clients, a unique recall on changes in the industry, the ability to problem solve quickly because of he/she has handled similar issues many times before, etc.
This would include getting to work on time, actually working during work hours (not texting, playing fantasy football, or checking Facebook), getting their work done and finding time to help a co-worker and leaving when it’s time to go, not before.
Many older candidates inform me that they just want something to do. Others have said that they know they only want to work for a certain number of years, so they have no intention of switching jobs.
The flexibility as empty nesters enables many to work unorthodox hours and because they want to work, there is less complaining regarding those hours.
Studies show that job performance in the areas of customer service and the ability to work well with others improved with the length of time a person works for a company.
Although many older employees may need to work for economical reasons, there are many who want to work in order to stave off boredom, or as one gentleman told me, "to keep me from driving my wife crazy!"
So, reconsider the mature, experienced candidate. Be fair in evaluating everyone who is qualified, regardless of age. Never be afraid to get professional help if busy, in doubt, or if you just want it done right and right away.
Finding the right person is paramount to the success of your company. Be open to what will help you be most successful.
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