How experienced workers can strengthen your talent pool in a shrinking labor market
A whole wave of baby boomers are preparing to retire, and this exodus could leave a skills chasm that leads to a permanent labor shortage. And it’s not just a U.S. problem — this global workforce shortage will impact countries around the world, especially throughout Europe and China.
For years, organizations have clung to biases against older workers when recruiting. But now, necessity is kicking ageism to the curb, pushing businesses to reevaluate hiring strategies and perceptions when it comes to this essential part of every workforce.
In the age of artificial intelligence and automation, the uniquely human “power skills” that experienced workers excel in are more valuable than ever. So, let’s take a moment to bust the myths surrounding older workers and shine a spotlight on what they truly bring to the table.
The upside of hiring mature workers
Experienced workers bring depth and richness to the workplace that can’t be imitated. Let’s dive into why employers should take notice of this golden opportunity to hire and promote experienced workers.
When it comes to building a team, mixing it up with a range of ages can do wonders for your company culture. A multigenerational workforce isn’t just a melting pot of ideas and perspectives — it’s a dynamic environment where innovation and productivity take center stage.
Different generations bring unique strengths and experiences to the table, fostering a culture of mutual learning and respect. The tech-savvy younger workforce learns from their older colleagues’ rich reservoir of life and work experiences, while the mature workers get to stay in touch with the latest trends and innovations. It’s a winning situation for everyone involved.
Remote work mastery
When offices worldwide shut their doors and work moved online, many might have thought that older workers would struggle. But guess what? They proved everyone wrong. Experienced workers took remote work in stride, adapting quickly to technology, virtual communication, and new work formats.
With years of experience under their belt, they’re uniquely equipped to lead virtual teams. Their communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills are vital in managing teams remotely. They know how to foster a sense of unity even across screens, maintain productivity, and ensure everyone feels seen and heard.
Unleashing the wisdom of mature workers
There’s no substitute for experience. The knowledge and expertise of mature workers are invaluable assets that can help bridge the labor gap in today’s market. Yet, this talent pool often remains untapped, with employers favoring younger workers. The truth is older workers bring much more than their work experience to the table. Their ability to navigate complex situations with grace, their resilience, and their unique perspectives can bring a new dimension to problem-solving and decision-making at the workplace.
Employers’ opportunity to lead change
Beyond their business objectives, employers also have a critical societal role to play. By providing meaningful employment and support to older workers, they enhance their company’s productivity and innovation and contribute to a more inclusive society. Research from Gartner indicates that organizations that value and promote diversity are more successful in the long run.
5 ways to harness the power of experience for organizational growth
1. Put the unbeatable competitive advantage of experience to work
The first step is to change the lens through which we view our mature workforce. Experience isn’t just about how many years someone has worked — it’s about the diverse challenges they’ve overcome, the unique insights they’ve gained, and the hard-earned wisdom they bring to roles. Recognizing and tapping into the value of these experiences can catapult an organization to new heights of innovation and success.
2. Hire for potential, not age
Potential should be the guiding star when scouting for talent, not age. The versatility, resilience, and vast professional networks mature workers often possess make them invaluable assets to any organization.
3. Promote lifelong learning and upskilling
Learning should never stop. Employers can promote a culture of continuous learning and upskilling among all employees, including older employees. Not only does this help younger and older workers stay potent in the evolving business landscape, but it also fosters a culture of personal growth and development that benefits the whole organization.
4. Make age a key consideration in DEI programs
It’s time to expand our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs to include age. Recognizing workers’ unique challenges and experiences across different age groups can lead to a more inclusive and equitable workplace where everyone feels valued and heard.
5. Offer flexible work environments for mutual success
Finally, employers can further support their experienced workers by offering flexible work arrangements. This caters to their specific needs and leads to higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and, ultimately, greater organizational success. The future of work is flexible, and employers who recognize this will stay ahead of the curve.
Build the workforce of the future with experienced workers
As we look toward a future teeming with new challenges and unprecedented opportunities, it’s time to reevaluate our perception of mature workers. Far from being sidelined, these seasoned professionals hold the key to bridging the looming labor shortage, enriching our workplaces with diverse perspectives, and driving our organizations to new heights.
Ready to propel your organization into the future with a data-driven, strategic HR approach?
Eightfold’s AI-powered Talent Intelligence Platform is designed to help organizations understand, engage, and retain their workforce more effectively. With our platform, employers can find highly qualified talent, eliminate unconscious bias in hiring and performance assessments, identify and nurture talent within the organization, and create personalized learning and career paths for employees of all ages.
Whether it’s finding the right role for an experienced professional, recommending targeted upskilling opportunities, or providing insights to drive DEI initiatives, Eightfold is there to support every step of the talent journey.
Discover how we can assist you in building a future-ready workforce.
Transform your workforce
About Eightfold AI
Eightfold AI’s market-leading Talent Intelligence Platform™ helps organizations retain top performers, upskill and reskill their workforce, recruit talent efficiently, and reach diversity goals. Eightfold’s patented deep learning artificial intelligence platform is available in more than 155 countries and 24 languages, enabling cutting-edge enterprises to transform their talent into a competitive advantage. For more information, visit www.eightfold.ai.