In this issue of the HiringSmart Newsletter we continue our look at the challenge of finding workers and keeping them. We are going to take a closer look at older workers and a need for us to consider some new realities.
Retired Worker: It’s not an oxymoron any more!
We are living longer and healthier lives. It is commonly expressed that today’s 65 is the new 45! The average just-retired 60-year-old may not want to work 60-hour-weeks any more, but that doesn’t mean s/he wants to putter around the garden for the next 25 years, either.
Mick Jagger – A role model for the Retired Worker
When the Rolling Stones came through our town recently and performed only blocks from our office, lead singer Mick Jagger had just celebrated his 64th birthday. While it might seem amusing that a 60-plus rocker is still going strong – but at a reduced pace – according to the most recent study in aging and retirement, he’s not alone.
Hart & Associates Management Consultants recently published their annual National Investor, Wealth Management and Real Estate Study and found that 53% of participants in the study expect to work part-time, while 6% plan on working full-time in another job when they retire. The study also found that 16% of Canadians intend to spend time volunteering rather than working in retirement and that women are more likely to volunteer than men. Only 24% of the people plan to fully retire and neither work nor volunteer.
The party’s over – go back to work
Everyone has a story about why they need to continue working. For some it is that in the late 70s and early 80s an insurance salesman/financial advisor came to them with a plan whereby if they signed up now and put $$$ in a plan they could retire at 55. Many bought into this notion of early retirement only to find that they were either unable to put enough aside, or that circumstances simply made it impossible to continue. Others simply never planned for it at all.
Poverty and the single woman
45.6% of single women 65+ live at or below the poverty line and cannot afford to stop working, while for men it is much less an issue. Many women raised families with little or no support from a spouse or second income and/or entered the workforce at a later age and had less time to accumulate the wealth required for a lengthy retirement. Housing costs and the unexpected bumps in heating costs, gasoline, health care and other essentials have eroded their savings. Another reason that women over 65 are more likely to live in poverty than men is access to pensions. There are different types of pension plans and women fare less well in all of them. Private pensions are tied to employment. Not only are fewer women eligible for pension payments, they receive, on average, slightly short of half the compensation as men the same age do.
Some people like what they do. Really.
Many retired workers are not ready to retire. They are not bored, especially the late starters who entered the workforce late because of raising their children. Others need and want to get out of the house. Not everyone wants to be a volunteer. For those in your community who are looking for social interaction, want to make a contribution, and are looking for limited work hours so as to combine work with leisure time, here are three management tips to follow:
Finding the Retired Worker in your community
To find the semi-retired or retired worker in your community, go to where they are rather than trying to get them to come to you. Local coffee shops at 10AM are a good start. Those with time on their hands and a need to get out of the house will be with those who share the same need. Activity centers, shopping malls and special events that cater to seniors such as Seniors Expos and other trade shows are great places to meet your next employee. One client of ours has made the plunge into recruiting retired workers with great success in Canada by visiting the local coffee shop and handing out business card size invitations to apply for part-time work online at their TalentSeeker Web portal.
The Silver Tsunami
“Oh that is all nice and fine for others, but the people that we are looking for are not on the Internet.”
Well I’ve got news for you. In Canada as well as the US, Internet usage studies are uncovering some very interesting data that disputes the claim that older workers are not “wired”. The numbers in the US and Canada are very similar with Canada having a higher acceptance of the Internet. In the US, 58% of 50-64 year olds are online regularly while in Canada the number is closer to 70%. There is a wave of people who are slightly younger than retirees and who are vastly more attached to the online world. They are unlikely to give up this means of communication and will transform the wired senior stereotype.
Of those who do use the Internet the number one activity is e-mail, followed by basic transactions that save time, such as travel tickets, books and other gift items. The fear of credit card and personal information being entered into web portals as being a risky proposition have been dealt with and now more than 82% of the seniors with Internet access say that they make purchases online. This is higher than the 18-27 age group!
" The whole world stands to gain from an empowered older generation, with the potential to make tremendous contributions to the development process and to the work of building more productive, peaceful, and sustainable societies.”
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan,
on the occasion of International Day
of Older Persons