Despite warnings of an impending recession, firms around the world are experiencing a trend normally only observed in boom times: a lack of skilled workers on their books. This has been brought on in part because workers who were nearing retirement during the pandemic, decided they’d already saved enough for retirement, or experienced a work-life epiphany with the sudden change to their workaday routine… and decided to throw their towels in.
When the staff count is hovering just above the minimum threshold, companies become very reticent to fire staff, even if they’re not performing very well. This is because it could be risky to wait for the economy to improve to rehire in markets like the UK which have a shrinking workforce and high inactivity rates. Rehiring may not be possible in the medium term in such a situation.
In the UK, there were over 340,000 more economically inactive 50 to 64-year-olds in Q3 2022 than during the three months before Covid hit. An additional 338,000 workers from the 65+ cohort also left paid work during this period. The economy is starting to feel the loss, fairly acutely, of these workers’ contributions.
So, how do employers come up with better offers to attract near-retirees? According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), to attract the middle-aged back to the workforce, businesses need to double down on “flexible working hours”, “good pay” and “being able to work from home”.
Older workers have become integral to a healthy labour market. To entice them back into the ratrace, the evidence suggests that companies will need to double down on flexible working arrangements.
How to attract older workers back to your business
Older workers can contribute a lot with their experience, insights and wisdom. Onboarding them to your company can drive value. Here are ways you can attract these workers to join your organisation.
Offer shift options
Older workers are transitioning to the next chapter of their lives and giving them flexible options marries their desire for a far more optimal work-life balance. Hiring managers can offer options such as remote work set-up, part-time arrangement or a hybrid set-up.
Provide valuable benefits
Offer benefits that can be useful to older workers. Some of these benefits are:
– Retirement benefits
– Wellness programme membership
– Healthcare & dental insurance
– Generous pension contributions
Implement a mentoring system
Allow older employees to share insights and techniques with the younger cohort. Doing this shows that you value the experience of older employees and provides lessons to the younger ones. In general, it promotes a positive work culture.
It’s important for older workers to keep their skills sharp and up to date. Doing this provides value to the business as well as it can help with the overall productivity. Keep older workers connected to the latest techniques and tools useful in your industry.