The average age of the American workforce is increasing, and many older workers are working beyond the traditional retirement age which means that nearly half of our workforce is now over 50. Yes, really.
Contrary to what some think, many companies know the value of older workers seeking career transition, and so more resources for recruiting and retaining over-50 workers are appearing.
It's understandable why companies will pursue mature candidates. As a rule, older workers:
- Are more reliable. Most over-50s have stable lives, no young kids at home, know how to get to work on time, and are less likely to call in sick.
- Stay longer. Hiring and training a new employee is a major expense, and older workers have about one-third the rate of turnover of younger employees.
- Have a stronger work ethic. Older workers are used to having to perform well on the job, and are more likely to over-perform than younger workers. Few older workers are slackers.
- Require less training. Younger workers may need basic training in things like customer service skills, but experienced workers have more "been there, done that" experience to draw on, so they can be productive faster.
- Require less supervision. More experience and an old-fashioned work ethic produces a more responsible employee.
- Are better with customers. Mature workers generally have better communication skills and confidence with customer contact.
- Are flexible with hours. Many older workers prefer part-time schedules, and are willing to work on Friday and Saturday nights.
Here are some job sites that focus on jobs, career transition, and job search information for experienced workers:
- Seniors4hire.org got its start ten years ago as a nationwide career center for job seekers 50 or older and the companies that want to recruit them. Founder Renee Ward said, "At the time, some people were skeptical... and then Walt Disney Resorts signed on because they wanted to hire older workers for what they bring." Competition has increased, but Seniors4Hire still thrives with job listings from employers and the ability to both post your resume and in the "Jobs Wanted" section.
- Workforce50.com is the continuation of the Senior Job Bank, established in 1974 with a mission of matching older workers with employers. The site offers lots of resources for over-50 workers, and employers who are looking for older, more experienced and wiser workers post jobs as well. Their search function looks to be populated by the Indeed.com search engine, though, so the jobs aren't specifically aimed at midlifers.
- RetirementJobs.com was founded in 2005 by a team of experts in the hiring and online recruiting world who wanted to find age-friendly employers best suited to older workers, and to match them with qualified mature candidates. They created the CAFE (Certified Age Friendly Employer) certification program for employers who meet certain standards for workforce policies, training, compensation and benefits. Access to job listings is free, and an upgraded plan is less than $5 a month.
- Jobs 4.0 is a job board for candidates 40 and over. They don't pull jobs from other websites, and the companies that post with them are looking specifically for experienced workers. With almost 3,000 active listings with excellent companies, the focus at Jobs 4.0 is all about job listings.
- RetiredBrains.com was founded in 2003 by Art Koff, an expert on retirement topics and author of Invent Your Retirement Resources for the Good Life. The site features information about finances, health care, pets, volunteering and senior living. The Retirement Jobs section lets jobseekers post their resume anonymously and view thousands of temporary, part-time and full-time positions. There's information about starting your own business, too.
- YourEncore.com is an international network of retired and veteran scientists, engineers and product development experts who are assigned to part-time projects for global clients like Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly, Boeing and General Mills. Product developers, market research specialists, chemists, medical professionals, and technical experts should check out this site for jobs that value their knowledge.
- PrimeCB.com is a division of CareerBuilder.com, the nation's largest job site. They launched in early 2008, and the site is primarily filled with advice and resources for experienced workers; job postings, and posting your resume, are done through the main CareerBuilder.com site.
- JobsOver50.com is a free service aimed at workers over 50. Part of the GoliathJobs network, they partner with with schools and alma maters to reach a verified candidate base, and leverage alumni-direct postings, social networks and niche job boards.
- NOWCC.org (National Older Worker Career Center) is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding employment and shaping policy for workers 55 and over. They offer two programs for older workers in the fields of environmental conservation and natural resource maintenance. There are limited positions, and the pay isn't high, but the jobs are reserved for 55+ candidates.
These are just of a few of the resources aimed specifically at midlife and older workers; the growing list is a very good sign for the employment future of those who plan to work for years to come.
More about job advice, how to do a job search, and looking for a job after 50: