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WORKSPAN
WORKSPAN DAILY |

Employers: Don’t Forget About the Boomers


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Much of the focus on recruitment and retention is centered around Millennials and Gen Z, but the oldest generation in the workforce is still hanging around and still vital to an organization’s success.

However, a study by iHire found that 53% of Baby Boomers (1946-64) have experienced age discrimination in their job search while 66% feel “very qualified” for positions for which they’re applying.

The recruiting technology provider unveiled these findings and more from its survey of 1,265 U.S. Baby Boomer job seekers in an eBook, “Baby Boomers: The Missing Link in Addressing the Talent Shortage.”

“With more Baby Boomers postponing or coming out of retirement, iHire wanted to more closely examine this generation’s job search experiences and expectations,” said Steve Flook, iHire’s president and CEO. “As the talent shortage and tight labor market continue to complicate hiring, employers should put their bias aside and consider what seasoned, eager, reliable, and highly qualified baby boomer candidates can offer.”

Notable findings from iHire’s survey include:

  • Baby Boomers are both actively and passively seeking new career opportunities:
    • 41% of Baby Boomers surveyed are unemployed and seeking a job, providing evidence of their interest in returning to the workforce and/or an uptick in Baby Boomer layoffs.
    • 56% are currently employed, supporting the upward trend of postponing retirement.
  • Baby Boomers have high confidence in their qualifications:
    • 83% feel either “very qualified” or “overqualified” for the jobs for which they are applying.
    • Less than 5% feel “somewhat” or “not at all” qualified.
  • Baby Boomers are experiencing bias in their job search despite their perceived qualifications:
    • In addition to the 53% who have experienced age discrimination, 45% believe their generation is unfairly stereotyped by today’s employers.
    • 70% of Baby Boomers who said they feel overqualified for jobs believe they’ve been subjected to ageism.
  • Baby Boomers value salary most in a potential employer, reinforcing a need to augment their retirement savings:
    • 74% selected “fair salary/compensation” as one of their top three most desired workplace offerings.
    • Health benefits, work/life balance, 401(k) options, and flexibility (telecommute/set your own schedule) followed as popular responses.

“Employers recruiting Baby Boomers should appeal to their specific wants and needs, just as they would for candidates from any other demographic,” Flook said. “Provide ample compensation and benefits, give them more flexibility, and allow them to lead and mentor younger employees. It’s also a great idea to offer opportunities for part-time, consulting, or freelance work – an attractive option for boomers who aren’t ready to completely retire.”


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