The main reason that companies are hesitant to hire people over 50 is the increase in healthcare premiums. In addition, there is a perception that professionals over 50 demand much higher salaries. Let’s clarify a few issues and discuss why hiring over 50 provides many benefits.
The idea that people over 50 will require greater salaries misses the point of “cost benefit”. One of the greatest costs to employers is employee turnover. The fact is that younger employees are seeking accelerated career growth and are much more inclined to move out, in order to move up. Employees over 50 are much more inclined to stay. When you compare the cost of turnover to higher wages paid to 50+ employees, one off-sets the other.
The advantage of hiring employees over 50 is continuity of workforce. This is very important for two reasons. Not only is turnover costly, but there is learning curve when training new employees, which results in a dramatic loss in productivity. In addition, customers like dealing with the same people and get a negative feeling about working with someone new every year.
Employees over 50 are extremely reliable and are more likely to take less sick time, come in early and stay late. Employees over 50 are natural coaches and mentors and can impart their knowledge and work ethic on others. This is an invaluable investment.
Employees over 50 have personal financial obligations including a mortgage, college tuition and care of elderly parents. With these obligations comes a much higher level of responsibility. People over 50 cannot afford to lose their jobs, so they can’t move back home with their parents. Last, but not least, is a core value system that comes with maturity and responsibility, which can contribute to a positive work culture.
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