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The Case for the Older Worker

The Harvard Business Review Press recently published an important book by Peter Cappelli and Bill Novelli titled Managing the Older Worker. While their book is directed toward the managerial relationship between an older worker and younger boss, their statistics make a compelling argument for including workers over 60 in your candidate pools.

There’s plenty of information about the aging population and baby boom/bust and how demographics alone will create an aging workforce. But Cappelli and Novelli tell us more about the kinds of workers and value the older workers bring to a company. Here are a few examples:

  • Older workers are not motivated as much by money, but the feeling of being needed, and appreciated for doing a good job.
  • They are not interested in climbing a corporate ladder.
  • Older workers want to stay mentally and physically active.
  • They want to do something worthwhile, learn something new and help others.
  • They are very reliable, often more flexible with work schedules.

Contrast these attributes to the Gen Y or “Millenniums” who have been repeatedly been termed self-centered, unstable and immature, and you can see why a glance in the direction of the older worker may be a better cultural match for your company.

Rose Mattran

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