Almost three quarters (72%) of UK employers are looking to hire workers who retired during the pandemic, according to research from LinkedIn.
Despite the increased demand for their services, many retired workers are lacking the confidence to re-enter the workforce.
Over a third (38%) of workers over 50 thought they would be disadvantaged because of their age, while just over a quarter (25%) felt they didn’t have the required skills.
Derval Blehein, HR leader for EMEA and LATAM at LinkedIn, said employers using a skills-based approach to recruiting evens the playing field for older workers.
Older workers leaving employment:
Financial stability led older workers to leave during pandemic
The Great Retirement – why older people are leaving the workforce in droves
The Great Retirement – why older people are leaving the workforce in droves, part two
Blehein told HR magazine: “Employers who actively invest in overcoming ageism in the workplace can unlock a wealth of talent. We know diverse teams win, and diversity of thought gained through age and experience is a critical component of this equation. However there is work to be done to ensure that hiring processes are inclusive across all age groups.
“Employers who take a skills-based approach to hiring can help diminish bias towards certain generations. By focusing on a candidate’s transferable skills, employers will broaden their talent pools and increase diversity in their workforce. Over time, this hiring approach will widen age profiles in industries that typically favour a certain age group.”
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the cost of living crisis has made retirement a less viable option for many.
Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “In some cases, carefully laid retirement plans which looked economically sustainable a year ago are now in pieces and that’s a huge disappointment if you’ve been looking forward to a rest and the chance to enjoy yourself after many years of working.
“However, there are some older people with a lifetime of valuable skills who might relish the prospect of staying in employment and we hope that employers recognise the fantastic and often underused skill base of enthusiastic older workers.”
The UK government invested £22 million in support packages to help workers over 50 return to employment in July 2022 which included increased help at job centres for older workers and mid-life MOTs to help over-50s understand their finances.
Emily Andrews, deputy director for work at the Centre for Ageing Better, told HR magazine that job adverts could be amended to be more inclusive of older workers.
She said: “We are pleased to hear that many business leaders are taking positive steps to recruit older workers. They will find there are many benefits to drawing on the skills and experiences of older workers. Research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that businesses with a 10% higher share of workers aged 50 and over are 1.1% more productive, and other studies show that multigenerational teams are the most innovative.
“Making job adverts more inclusive through incorporating diversity statements that emphasise age-inclusivity, as well as avoiding the use of certain terms such as ‘recent graduate’ or ‘dynamic’, encourages older applicants without deterring younger workers.”
LinkedIn surveyed 272 C-level executives in October 2022, in addition to 255 workers aged between 50 and 64 in the same month.