Mature Age Workers: The Talent Pool That Will Help Boost Your Business’s Bottom Line

Just as Australia’s population is ageing, so too is the nation’s workforce, with an increasing number of workers seeking to remain in employment longer. According to Susan Ryan, who was Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner up until 2016, this is a huge opportunity for employers.

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‘Good business sense’

Tapping into this growing talent pool, Ryan explained in a blog post), is the key to not just maintaining but unleashing the nation’s productive capacity. She pointed to research indicating the huge economic benefits that would flow if an increasing number of mature age workers were employed. For instance, a 2012 report by Deloitte Access Economics found that a 3% increase in labour force participation among workers aged 55 and over would boost GDP by $33 billion – the equivalent of 1.6% of the national income. Further, a 5% increase in participation for the group would increase GDP by around $48 billion – the equivalent of 2.4% of national income. 

As well as being good for the economy, Ryan said it makes good business sense for employers to engage and retain mature age workers because they are “reliable, flexible and ready to contribute from day one”. Plus, she explained, employers with mature age workers are better able to capitalise on customer bases that are also ageing. This is in line with a 2014 whitepaper released by The Executive Connection (TEC), titled Finding the Gold in Silver Hair, which states that organisations are realising that a diverse workforce (not an ‘eternally youthful’ one) is necessary to reflect the expectations and life experiences of their customers.

Ryan’s belief that mature age workers, due to a lifetime of experiences, make great mentors to their younger colleagues is also supported by the TEC white paper: “[mature age workers] also often hold valuable intellectual capital, deep industry knowledge and strong personal networks that are hard for younger employees to match without many years in a particular industry…Younger employees and executives growing into a role often welcome the advice of a more experienced colleague who has been through similar situations before.”

This article was originally published by Dynamic Business.

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