The last census showed that over 55’s made up 21.8% of the New Zealand workforce. With an ageing population, this 489,900 strong workforce is set to increase. Yet, it’s a common sentiment that older workers find it harder to secure new employment in the later stages of their career.

So let’s look at why you should be considering mature candidates for your next vacancy:

You really can’t put a figure on the value of experience. And this value can show up in small things like understanding how to navigate and avoid office politics, through to big things like advanced critical and strategic thinking and decision making abilities. There’s a lot to be said for having already been there and done that; not to mention the fact that the more experience a candidate has behind them, the better equipped they are to hit the ground running.

Confidence and experience go hand in hand. Mature workers have their years of experience to draw from – this ain’t their first rodeo so they don’t suffer from the same levels of insecurity over their abilities as people newer to the workforce do. The same goes for over-confidence. Sometimes younger workers have an overinflated sense of their ability because they haven’t had the time to learn from their mistakes yet or understand just how much they have to learn. Candidates who have spent considerable time in the workforce have a fairly good handle on their strengths (and weaknesses) and can work to those accordingly.

Mature workers will likely have different priorities to their younger counterparts. There’s reduced risk of them dashing off overseas for OE’s. They’re also more likely to be settled in their career or lifestyle, with less interest in jumping between roles for career advancement. Their children are likely to be older and self-reliant too, so they don’t need to work around school hours and holiday periods.

A common complaint about millennials is their sense of entitlement. Having been told from a young age that the world is theirs if they want it, the generalisation is that millennial workers expect to advance in their careers quicker than what reality can provide. Candidates that have already spent a large chunk of time in the workforce, or are returning after some time out, are less likely to be solely interested in climbing the career ladder and more focused on simply doing a good job!

Sharing Knowledge:
One of the most valuable traits of a good employee is their ability to retain intellectual property and then share that with new employees coming through. Mature candidates make great mentors for younger or newer staff, and can begin to impart their knowledge and experience from day one.

With this post we’re simply trying to highlight the value of a candidate group that’s often overlooked. However, the truth is that the age of a candidate shouldn’t make a difference to whether they’re suitable or not – all candidates have something valuable to add to your organisation.

In the end, what does matter is whether a candidate is a good fit for your team and your organisation, whether they have the necessary skills to do the job, and whether they have the right attitude. And none of these things are age exclusive.

So if you’re struggling to find people who are the right fit for your organisation, we can help. Get in touch today!

Best wishes,
Kirsty and Nikki

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