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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Harnessing the older workforce


By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that one in every five residents will be older than age 65.  It would serve employers to tap this population segment. Mature workers can relate more effectively to older customers – another win for employers.  Below are strategies to effectively recruit older workers:

1. Tap Aging Networks

Reach out to AARP and other organizations whose market is older individuals who may be looking for opportunities.

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2. Job Descriptions

Remove words which would deter older applicants such as “digital native”, “recent grads”, “college student” and avoid stereotyping older workers and making assumptions about their abilities.

3. Offer More Flexibility

Look at accommodations such as more frequent breaks, various seating options, etc. Other attractive benefits may include offering reduced or staggered hours, remote working options, job sharing, etc.

CVS Health offers employees a ‘snowbird program’ which gives employees the opportunity to temporarily transfer on a seasonal basis and work in a store in a warmer state during the winter.  Interesting to note, 20% of the CVS Health workforce is comprised of older employees.

4. Offer Older Workers Additional Training

An employer can offer additional computer classes or other technologies to older workers who may feel threatened or intimidated by general employee training, but still have the capacity, desire, and need to learn new skills.

5. Offer Phased Retirement/Retire Casually Options

Allow a worker to slowly decrease their hours worked while at the same time allowing the organization to benefit from the worker’s knowledge and expertise, creating a win for both. 

Securing a workforce which includes older workers creates a win for both employee and employers and a compelling game plan to address the current workforce shortage.


“What Is Ahead for the Nation’s Aging Workforce – Older People Working Longer, Earning More” by Erika Mcentarfer, April 24, 2018 (www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/04/aging-workforce)

“Creative Ways to Attract and Retain Older Workers, SDG Resource Center, XPertHR, March 5, 2019 (sdgresources.relx.com/articles-features/creative-ways-attract-and-retain-older-workers)

“How Innovative Employers Engage Older Workers – Part 1, by Ken Dychtwald LinkedIn, August 4, 2021 (www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-innovative-employers-engage-older-workers-part-1-ken-dychtwald)

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Reba Morgan Osborne
Reba Morgan Osbornehttp://naperville.net
Reba Morgan Osborne is the Director of Government Affairs for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact Reba at (630) 544-3387 or rosborne@naperville.net.


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