Why is it good to hire seniors?
Headhunting companies get fairly uniform orders from companies that are looking for employees. Young, creative people with extensive experience and knowledge of at least two foreign languages are welcome. Among such offers, it is difficult for people over 50, who are increasingly supplying the labor market in Poland. This is the result of demographic changes and the so-called aging of the society - fewer and fewer children are born, we live longer and longer, which extends the period of professional activity. As a result, it is very important to change the attitude of Polish entrepreneurs to employing people aged over 50.
Why the reluctance to hire seniors?
According to BAEL (Labor Force Survey) conducted in the first quarter of 2013, Poland is at the tail end of the European Union in terms of the employment rate of people aged 55-64. The country on the Vistula River reaches the level of 39.0%, while in the EU it is 49.5%.
The reasons for this state of affairs are to a large extent the stereotypes and prejudices functioning about "seniors" among the owners of Polish companies. They are often accused of working less efficiently, slower, do not want to develop, are afraid of any changes, are reluctant to assimilate technical innovations. Employers are also concerned that the “senior” they employ will often be on sick leave.
All this means that people aged 50+, after losing their job, often do not start or, discouraged by the situation on the market, quickly give up looking for a new job, do not improve their qualifications, thus confirming the stereotypes prevailing about them. The party that should reach out in this case is the employers.
What kind of employee is a person 50+?
Contemporary seniors are very active people, open to changes, willing to learn new things - also about technical innovations. Moreover, they often show much higher motivation to work than their younger colleagues. At the same time, they are more patient and calmer, thanks to which they perform their duties very reliably.
People over 50 are, contrary to appearances, very loyal employees. Most often they do not have many household chores anymore - they have raised children, often also grandchildren, and have too much free time. In addition, they change jobs much less often - experts report that the average length of work experience in one company for people aged 55-64 is about three times longer than for people aged 25-34. This means that an employer hiring a 50+ employee in his company may reduce the costs related to staff rotation.
In addition, seniors are extremely valuable employees, mainly due to their experience - both life and professional. Thanks to this, they will be perfect mentors for young employees who are just entering the labor market.
What additional benefits for the employer?
Employing seniors is not only a chance to find a very good, loyal and reliable employee. Employers choosing such a solution will also benefit from additional economic benefits. First of all, for the sake of promoting the employment of people over 50, the "Solidarity of generations" program has been operating in Poland for over four years, aimed at reducing labor costs related to the employment of seniors. The first of such incentives is the exemption of employers from paying contributions to the Labor Fund for people in pre-retirement age. Another idea is to reduce the number of sick days of an employee aged 50+, for which the employer is obliged to pay.
Moreover, entrepreneurs who employ an unemployed person over 50 may apply for co-financing of the costs of equipping and retrofitting the workplace for such an employee, directed by the employment office. Such financial support may reach the amount of 6 times the average monthly salary.
Senior in the company = a challenge for the entrepreneur
It should also not be forgotten that an employee 50+ in an organization is a big challenge for an entrepreneur-manager. An important task is to create an organizational culture suitable for people of all ages. In addition, when placing a senior in the company's structure, the issue of subordination should be taken into account. Some employees may find it difficult to report to younger people, or on the other hand, management may feel uncomfortable giving orders to older colleagues.
The demographic situation in Poland caused by the aging of the society will force employers to change their approach and employ seniors. Using the potential of 50+ employees will soon become a standard, so it is worth preparing the management techniques used in the company for such a situation and taking the first steps towards recruiting seniors.