Older workers and the road to (un)retirement
Despite layoffs and lost savings, some in the senior workforce find their jobs prospects are not all that gloomy.
(Page 2 of 3)
Older job applicants, Gourianov adds, "should always use experience and maturity to their advantage."Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
They'll have to because, in this economy, more of them will be looking to work past retirement age or come back from retirement. A recent survey by CareerBuilder, an online career site, found that 60 percent of workers over the age of 60 were postponing retirement as the economic downturn eroded their savings.
"This recession has created a compelling need for baby boomers to work longer," says David DeLong, a researcher who specializes in the changing workforce. "We will have a much larger pool of older job seekers coming out of this recession."
Finding work won't be easy, necessarily.
Employers willing to hire those over 50 "seem to be hiding," says Gene Burnard, publisher of Workforce50.com. "We keep trying to ferret them out."
Many hiring managers keep a low profile, Mr. DeLong notes, because they "are scared of publicizing openings and afraid they'll be flooded with résumés." But, he adds, "Organizations have learned from previous recessions the high cost of losing older workers. Some are doing what they can to retain them."
Job boards that specifically match older applicants with employers offer one way to tap that experience. "Employers look at us as a venue to get to these employees," says Joe Scalice, president of retiredworkforce.com. "Some employers are more open to it. Others you have to persuade a bit."
Openings include part-time, full-time, and seasonal positions, says Mr. Scalice. He estimates that 40 percent of his listings are administrative and clerical. Among the companies open to hiring mature workers are Sprint, IBM, and Office Team (a staffing company).
Three sectors of the economy actively retain older workers, says Mr. Rafter of RetirementJobs.com: healthcare, including nurses and medical technicians; science and information technology, encompassing clean-room manufacturing, biotechnicians, and software engineers; and defense contractors and subcontractors. Among employers that are exemplary in hiring older workers, he lists Jos. A. Bank, T-Mobile, Fresh Market, Merck, Atria senior-living facilities, Home Instead Senior Care, Travelers insurance, and federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Transportation Security Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service.