Baby boomers have begun delaying their retirement, and this creates challenges for small businesses. But it also creates opportunities.
The experience baby boomers bring to the table is undeniable, but employers are overlooking them. And according to a new study by iHire, 53% of respondents say they have experienced age discrimination. In addition to age discrimination, 44.5% say their generation is unfairly stereotyped by today’s employers.
As older workers delay their retirement and compete with everyone else, the challenges are undeniable. But there is also a great opportunity, especially for small businesses. The experience and knowledge of these employees can be used to guide new startups so they can avoid the many pitfalls of the business world.
This is exactly what Steve Flook, iHire’s president and CEO pointed out in the press release. Flook said, “As the talent shortage and tight labor market continue to complicate hiring, employers should put their bias aside and consider what seasoned, eager, reliable, and highly qualified baby boomer candidates can offer.”
The purpose of the survey is to find out the job search experiences and expectations of baby boomers. To that end, iHire surveyed 1,265 baby boomer job seekers in April 2019 across 56 industries.
Hiring Baby Boomers
The biggest problem organizations face now is the lack of qualified applicants. According to the 2019 State of Online Recruiting report, 53.5% of employers say this is their predicament.
At the same time, baby boomers are actively and passively looking for new employment opportunities. In the survey, 40.8% said they are unemployed and looking for a job. According to iHire, this is a sign of growing interest by baby boomers to go back to work, and it can also mean there is an uptick in the number of layoffs.
No matter the reason, they want to work. And they don’t lack confidence when it comes to their qualifications. The majority or 82.9% feel they are very qualified or overqualified for the jobs they are applying for. Only 5% say they are somewhat or not at all qualified.
In addition to getting hired, baby boomers are looking for solid compensation. Most, if not all, are looking to pad their retirement savings. In the survey, 73.5% chose fair salary/compensation as one of their primary criteria from an employer.
Beyond a good salary, they want health benefits, work/life balance, 401(k) options, and flexibility. The flexibility is telecommuting and setting their own schedule. And this is where a small business can seize the opportunity of hiring a baby boomer.
While it may not be possible to hire someone with so much experience on a full-time basis, it can be possible as a part-time or freelancer. This will allow baby boomers to stay in the workforce longer, and small businesses to use their expertise as needed.
The iHire report concludes by saying baby boomers are retiring faster than employers can fill the positions they leave behind.
For those who don’t want to retire, they offer organizations solutions to the hiring problems in the current employment market. With the right hiring strategy, businesses can have a good balance of young and older employees to create the perfect working environment.
There are far too many intangibles older workers bring to the table. Businesses who are able to see this and capitalize on it will experience surprising growth and productivity.