Can Recruiting Retired Seniors Adults Back Into The Workforce Ease The Employment Crisis?
March 3, 2022
by Michael Yublosky
Just this week an interesting article appeared on Market Watch. The piece is by Chris Farrell. It was entitled: “Trying to fill open jobs at your company? One of the 15 million retirees between age 55 and 70 might be able to help.” The subtitle asks whether a solution to the employment crisis could be found in hiring retirees.
We see the headlines and read the regular government’s job opening reports. By now most of us should have personally witnessed the results of worker shortages in long waits, poor service and delayed shipments. Raised wages and generous benefit hikes to recruit workers have contributed to inflation which impacts most American pocketbooks or savings.
Farrell suggests a partial solution is readily available to companies and organizations. The challenge, he suggests, may be alleviated by putting the millions of senior adults 50+ who have retired from the workforce back to work. He writes “… many retirees with skill and experience will want to return to the job market in coming months.”
I’m hearing the lament of senior adults wanting to go back to work almost weekly. Some were forced into early retirement, had to care for an ailing parent or chose retirement as a safety net to avoid being exposed to COVID in the workplace. Many are reconsidering their situation when eventually confronted with the lack or purpose in not working or the financial implications.
For many, full-time leisure does not fit their plans nor does it provide fulfillment. The article tells individual stories about unretirement plans, exploring opportunities, experimenting in alternative part-time occupations, etc.
Chris points out a recent significant mind change has occurred for many. That is the “…embrace of work well into the retirement years, sometimes for income, sometimes for purpose, and usually a combination of the two.” For others, as well as myself, work provides intellectual stimulation, water cooler conversations and a chance to mentor.
Perhaps the easing of the pandemic will convince more senior adults to return to work as the related health risks fade.
However, the author warns that “…employers will have to get past their historic prejudice against hiring older workers” and “…break down traditional hiring barriers.” Otherwise, employers might recognize that “…they can continue to fail their customers, or they can race to embrace experienced unretirees.”
The solution seems simple. The execution may be the challenge.
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