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Labor Day may be over, but for 50 plussers work might be right around the corner...

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:13pm

I think I may be in love with a man I've never met. Intrepid LA Times staff writer, Jonathan Peterson, dares to tread where few go...into the topic of hiring 50 plussers. Back in May, Peterson brought new statistics regarding older workers to the front pages of the LA Times.

I fell in love back then, but just a few short days ago, the lightening bolt may have actually hit. Mr. P. sent a bit more light our way. On September 3, 2007, Peterson published two more articles (specifically on the older worker) -- Companies try to retain older workers , and Putting retirees' expertise to work .

In the first article, Peterson plunges into the challenges many companies are starting to face in finding skilled labor or specialized talent. (If you are a frequent reader, I've commented quite a bit on industries that are having very specific challenges: engineering, healthcare, education, finance, retail, customer service, just to name a few...)

Some employers are starting to realize that their workers with years and years of experience may be harder to replace than they once thought.

According to Peterson, "In a society that exalts youth, older workers may sometimes feel like outcasts of the economy -- prodded into early retirement by corporate buyouts, overlooked for training and promotions, typecast by younger managers as past their prime.

Indeed, one 2005 study found that job applicants under age 50 were 42% more likely to be called for interviews than those over 50.

Yet there may be early glimmers of change. The oldest baby boomers are entering their 60s, raising the prospect of a vast wave of retirements. The post-World War II baby boom, moreover, was followed by a smaller "baby bust" generation.

As a result, some employers are worried that they will lose too many people -- and are pioneering policies to make the workplace more friendly to older employees."

Yikes? How is it that those under 50 are 42% more likely to be called for interviews?! In my Eons group (Careers for Boomers and 50 Plus) there are many heartbreaking stories that unfold...dedicated jobseekers who often times may search for a new job (any job) over one or even two years (or more) -- with no success.

And yet, according to this article, some employers are finally trying to make the workplace more friendly to older employees, so that they will stay. The first place that I believe needs an overhaul is at the recruiting and candidate presenting level -- in retraining recruiters to look outside the strict parameters of the job description and to be willing to re-engineer, and retool potentially great, dedicated, mature new hires. Because once a Gen Plusser is hired, they will stay and they will perform...with pleasure.

The second article is focused on bringing retirees back into the work force in specialized positions, often times for contract positions. Some great resources are mentioned and it is worth a read...whether you are a jobseeker OR an employer.

If you are a 50 plus friendly employer, please get the word out . There are thousands of eager 50 plus jobseekers looking to fill your jobs!

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