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The Benefits of Hiring Older Employees

There has been a lot of debate over whether mature (older) workers are being overshadowed by their younger, flashier counterparts.

In a recent survey by Adecco, the results were a little surprising.  Over 500 hiring managers were surveyed by phone and one the key findings was that these managers prefer older, more mature employees.

Actually, these managers were 3X more likely to hire a mature employee than a younger one.

Here are some surprising details that came out of the survey:

  • Female hiring managers, are more likely to hire a mature worker (66 percent) than male hiring managers (52 percent).
  • Hiring managers think mature workers and younger workers possess different personality traits.  For example, hiring managers are most likely to associate mature workers with being reliable (91 percent) and professional (88 percent) while they say younger workers are creative (74 percent) and strong networkers (73 percent).
  • When it comes to skills that need strengthening, hiring managers feel mature workers need more technological know-how (72 percent), while that is the skill that younger workers need to develop least (5 percent).
    • Younger workers, on the other hand, need to improve their writing skills (46 percent), while far fewer mature workers need to do so (9 percent), according to hiring managers.

Fewer Barriers to Hiring Mature Workers

  • Hiring managers think that the greatest challenge in hiring a mature worker is their difficulty learning/adapting to new technologies (39 percent), while the greatest challenge in hiring a younger worker is their unknown long term commitment to a company (46 percent).
  • Hiring managers are also concerned that both mature and younger workers may resist taking direction from someone of a different age.
    • Hiring managers think that a challenge in hiring a mature worker is their resistance to taking direction from younger management (33 percent).
    • Similarly, 27 percent of hiring managers also believe that a challenge in hiring a younger worker is their resistance to taking direction from older management.
  • However, almost two in five (39 percent) hiring managers say they don’t find any challenges related to hiring mature workers, while more than a quarter (27 percent) say the same about the younger workers.

Hiring Managers Say Both Young and Mature Workers Need Interview Improvement

  • Hiring managers say mature workers’ biggest interview mistake is having high salary / compensation demands (51 percent), followed by overconfidence in their abilities and experience (48 percent). Younger workers biggest interview mistake is wearing inappropriate interview attire (75 percent), followed by posting potentially compromising content on social media channels (70 percent).
    • Interestingly, these younger worker mistakes are the two that hiring managers say mature workers are least likely to make—wearing inappropriate interview attire (24 percent); posting potentially compromising content on social media channels (19 percent).
  • While more than a third (35 percent) of hiring managers say that one of the biggest mistakes mature workers make during an interview is being unable to sell themselves, women feel this way more than men. Forty-two percent of female hiring managers felt this way compared to 27 percent of male hiring managers.
  • Three in five hiring managers (60 percent) say that one of the biggest mistakes a younger person makes during the interview process is showing a lack of interest in a job by not asking questions about the company or position.

These findings have a lot of valuable information for mature workers, and younger workers as well.

Mature workers need to sharpen their technology skills and maybe not be as demanding as far as salary goes in order to obtain employment. Salary negotiations can always come later and is not something that should drive a job interview.

For more details on this study, visit