Stop writing off our Baby Boomers!
By Harriet Finch
“Respect your elders” A phrase we have all heard but it would seem not one we all adhere to.
I have spoken to some outstanding candidates that just can’t seem to find work and the one thing they all have in common is age, 60+.
Have you not heard 60 is the new 50 and 70 the new 60! The government wants us to work longer, retire later but how can we if employers won’t support this!
I’ve seen businesses turn away CV’s from older candidates and choose CV’s from Millennials. Millennials who will move jobs every 2-5 years. Baby boomers are generation who stick it out, they are loyal, dependable and drama free. I am not saying they are always better than Millennials but truly sometimes they are!
My grandad is an amazing Kitchen and Bedroom Surveyor with a wealth of experience, due to no fault of his own he is out of work. He is 72 and yes he is old fashioned in some ways but those traits are what make him amazing. If you invite him to arrive at 9 he will be there by 8:50 latest.
If he is meeting a customer, he will call ahead to confirm his arrival time and ensure they are still available. He will make the customer feel at ease, he won’t rush and treat them as a number he will sit with Mrs Jones to really understand what she wants from her new bedroom, after all it has been the same for the last 35 years and this is a big step for her! Not one to be rushed.
He may take a little longer but he does things right the first time; and really in the grand scheme of things would you rather have someone that is exceptionally reliable with the highest standard of work or someone who does twice the work load but at half the quality? Reputation is key, it only takes one poor employee to ruin years of hard work, remember that. Fast isnt always better.
This isn’t a menial issue. There are huge repercussions from us not supporting our elders into work – Use it or lose it a phrase regularly thrown around but one with a lot of truth. “There are no drugs to prevent you from getting Alzheimer’s disease at this point. But, there is quite a bit of evidence that lifestyle greatly modifies the downward trajectory of cognitive performance as you age “ (Dawn C. Carr MGS, Ph.D.. 2017. Use it or loose it.) “The cost of dementia to the UK is currently £26 billion a year, which works out as an average annual cost of £32,250 per person with dementia” (Alzheimers Society).
All very relevant to the current Dementia Tax Debate! http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jeremy-hughes/dementia-tax_b_17124134.html
We all have our part to play, I am lucky to work for an employment business (RSE Group) that encourages diversity and works with many clients who are totally unbiased regarding age. However, I am sure there are a lot of companies out there that think baby boomers wouldn’t fit their demographic, well think again! Experience (baby boomers) + Potential (millennials) = A perfect combination, its two-way learning.
Furthermore, don’t be intimidated to hire someone older than you! They bring knowledge and wisdom and sometimes some highly welcome reassurance!
Have a look through the links below for more information on this topic! Learn about 90 year old gymnasts and surgeons and 106 year old barbers and chefs.