In a culture that places a premium on youth, many tech industry jobs are designated for recent college grads or millennial go-getters whose smartphones are always at the ready. You might assume hiring young professionals will save your company money in the long run, since young professionals often have lower salary requirements and will therefore settle for lower salaries.
You might also assume that since young professionals have spent their lives adapting to the latest technologies, they won’t require extensive training, right? This rationale is understandable. However, hiring older workers who work remotely is a great way to diversify your team and take advantage of the many skills that older professionals possess, which young professionals have not had the chance to develop.
Why Older Professionals Are Assets to Your Team
Professionals over the age of 50 are an asset to any team. Often, older workers have concrete skills, such as experience with older programming languages, which younger job candidates would not possess. In addition to concrete skills, older professionals have many personal qualities that make them ideal employees. These workers have decades of experience, so they have the maturity to work independently with limited supervision, and they are often experienced problem-solvers who have seen it all and don’t need any hand-holding in a crisis. These traits are ideal for a remote team. Hiring managers often note that older employees have more company loyalty than many younger employees and can be counted on in difficult or stressful times.
Some hiring managers report older employees lack the necessary tech savvy to keep up in a demanding technology job; however, according to Deborah Banda, AARP’s acting vice president for financial security, “Today’s older workers are healthier and a lot more technologically savvy than older workers of previous generations.”
Why Many Older Professionals Opt to Work Remotely
The flexibility of remote working is a great advantage to older professionals. Relocating for a job is not ideal for many older professionals, or it is altogether impossible due to financial constraints or family obligations. For others, working remotely offers the freedom to pursue other interests.
The transition from active, dedicated professional to retiree does not need to happen overnight. Many older professionals do not want to stop working, yet they want to spend more time exploring the outdoors, pursuing hobbies and visiting with young grandchildren. Take the testimony of marketing professional Douglas Brown, who told The New York Times, “I never really wanted to retire, to go home and sit in a rocking chair. I wanted to slow down. I wanted to do something that was applicable for my background and experience.” These professionals don’t want their skills to go to waste, but they don’t want to sacrifice their chances to enjoy the comfortable lives for which they have worked long and hard.
How Can You Attract These Ideal Employees?
Older professionals know what they want in an employer, and they will choose an employer whose structure meets their needs. Hiring older employees for remote working positions — which allow team members more scheduling flexibility, fewer hours spent commuting, and the freedom to live where they choose — will attract the type of employees you want on your team. Managing a remote team is easier than ever, and it is essential for attracting these highly skilled, savvy job candidates.