Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why Hire the Old Guy/Gal?

Author: Robert Sherby
              Risk & Controls Expert/Consultant

Hiring managers are often leery about hiring those of us in our 60’s for positions for two major reasons, we probably have earned much more than they want to pay and that if we do accept a lower wage, we’ll continue to look for a higher paying job.  Add that to their concern as to when we’ll want to quit and they just avoid all the potential problems.

First the question about higher income.  I have twice in the past taken a step backwards for positions that were attractive to me.  Since at this stage of my life, my children are grown, I no longer need the same income level. I also have other sources of income that lessen the need for the same level of compensation.  I am more interested in finding an interesting challenge at a good company than finding a company that will pay me what I previously earned.  Location also factors into my decision as I’m not willing to endure a long commute so would willingly accept a lower salary to satisfy that requirement.

Looking for a job is a pain in the rear end.  Finding one at a company that meets the above requirements is much more likely to be the end of the search for those of us in my age group.  I have talked to many others who want to keep working because we like to contribute to a company and add value rather than sit around and be bored.  We have no desire to stop working as long as we are healthy. I stayed at my last job for eight years and early on had numerous calls from recruiters about more lucrative positions.  I liked my job and told them I wasn’t interested.

What are the other advantages to hiring the older worker?  There are seldom new problems or new solutions, and older workers are likely to have seen them all in the past.  They don’t have to sit around and wonder what to do to solve the problems and can address them sooner.  If you’re hiring an accomplished manager of people, that person will be an asset to the company as many people with strong technical skills are promoted to management and fail dismally because they can’t manage people.

Hiring older workers can also be a huge benefit to management as they are no longer looking for that next promotion.  They can serve as a good sounding board without worrying that they’re out for your job.

Another way to minimize the risk for those of us in our 60’s is to structure a job offer as contract to hire.  We have the confidence that we’ll be able to demonstrate our value and get that full-time offer. 

Admittedly, this article reflects my views on the subject and those that I’ve spoken to but I suspect that there are many others out there in the labor market that feel the same way. 

1 comment:

  1. Bob, great article! A must-read for the experienced job-seeker.