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Discussion in 'The OT' started by Mark Holtz, Sep 14, 2013.
From SF Gate:
Some employers see perks of hiring older workers
FULL ARTICLE HERE
I'd hire old people to sell reverse mortgages, incontinence remedies, walk-in tubs and wheel chairs, but I wouldn't hire a "me" to deal with most people because I know too much. I know too many things that are unimportant that interfere with my expediently addressing things that are important, and I don't have the intimate familiarity with the present that younger people do. Yesterday, when I was filling up my van, the guy behind me couldn't get his engine to restart. He opened the hood and I told him it was too bad that his car wasn't 30 years older because if it was, I could hold open the flap on his carburetor while he spun the engine. Do you think he gave a damn? Do you think he even knew what a carburetor was?
When I watch young people try to get their telephone "apps" to do what they want them to do, I can see that all they are doing is what I call "hacking". They try something and then they try something else. If I gave a damn about "apps", I'm sure I'd approach them in a more scholarly, orderly manner than they do, but while I was assessing my analytical and pedagogical resources to solve this problem, they stumble on the answer they need before I'd even begin my search in earnest.
There is discrimination ... mostly from companies who want long term employees who they don't want to replace in a few years. The closer the applicant gets to "retirement age" the less "useful years" are left. But I believe that employers are learning that young people don't have the loyalty of the older people. Perhaps that loyalty comes from the job market ... it is harder for an older person to say "stuff it" and leave for another job (although they can leave for retirement if eligible). A young person can find the next job ... or isn't wise enough to understand the value of the job they are leaving.
Unemployment is lower among older workers? Is that because it is so easy to leave the workforce at that age and NOT be counted as unemployed? Retire and you're not unemployed. The long term figures are more reflective of older people who are still trying to work. Ruining the unemployment numbers by attempting to stay in the workforce.
Here in NJ, age discrimination seems to be rampant. I've tried to help a couple guys I worked with get jobs and came up empty. Their backgrounds and skill levels should have made them employable, but even in a state that is crying out for craftsmen, we came up with nothing. Only reason I could see was their ages. Seemed strange how interested the companies I contacted were when they were told what qualifications the guys had but as soon as the subject of age came up the positions were suddenly filled.
Some company's excuse is "we cannot afford that level of experience". Some just don't consider the more experienced worker to be a "good fit" for a lesser job. There is some validity to these explanations. The job market is generally set up for people on their way up ... not on their way down. The goal is to keep getting a better job as you progress through life until you reach retirement.
Perhaps one would get a "retirement job" that keeps you busy and helps supplement retirement savings and social security toward the end of a carrier. But working one's way down the ladder is not expected. And hiring managers don't want to hire overqualified people - perhaps even more qualified than their managers and other superiors.
It isn't specifically an age thing, but when one applies for a job and puts on their application that they worked at their last job for 10 or 20 years it brings two things to mind: One is the over experience problem, the other is questioning why such a long term worker was let go (must be something wrong with this one).
It looks like some employers are figuring out that these stereotypes are wrong and are giving older applicants a chance. Hopefully they keep up the trend. No one here is getting any younger.
Companies don't seem to want long-term employees. Employees are commodities these days. My ex was fired so they could replace her with a minimum wage drone (regular increases had her making a few dollars above that).
They also want people who don't have the work experience to value themselves and are more willing to be treated like chattel.
There are VERY few companies these days who say "Employees are our most important asset" and actually act like it.
I think it's very simple ... Employment is cost-driven at the moment and like it or not, older people cost more to hire (from a salary perspective). Employers have to determine if going on the "cheap" is better for them in the long run or not.
From my experience, older workers tend to do all of the the things noted in the article ... Work better, work smarter, work longer. This means that the added cost is beneficial. Since younger workers may bounce around to work their way up the ladder, the long-term benefit of going on the "cheap" may not be realized.
I liken it to the story of the tortoise and the hare - we all know who won that race.
When I initially saw the article, my first comment is that work ethic, morals, values, drive, and responsibility make up a good worker. The article takes too broad of a brushstroke in painting the young worker as being bad, while the older worker as good. I disagree. I have seen top notch people who were young, and some bad examples from older workers.
I just turned 44 today. As an older worker, and one of the oldest on my team, I take the occasional ribbing for driving a older dullmobile while they drive their fancy new cars. But, I know for a fact that they are in debt to their eyebrows for their toys while my car is paid off. I also know that I am making very healthy contributions to my 401(k) while they barely contribute. Guess who is going to be better off at "retirement"? In addition, since we are a 24/7 operation, we have slots open up for weekend, overnight, or holiday shift. Guess who often fills in those shifts? You got it, one of the oldest members. While the overtime is nice, I do it so that I hold the "immunity idol" for the week between Christmas and New Years.
Paid Time Off? I have the highest accumulated PTO in my department, and have come in when I should have stayed in bed because we were so swamped with work. When we go through "shutdown" between Christmas and New Years, I can take off the time without blinking. Meanwhile, some will actually go into the hole for the four days off. (Yes, even though we are a 24/7 operation, we will be lightly staffed between Christmas and New Years, so some will have to take the mandatory four days elsewhen).
I was lucky I suppose, My last Job they closed my location after 16 1/2 years, a couple of days early due to Sandy. My Previous Job I worked there 14 years until they moved out of state. I could have gone, I just did not want to relocate.
Looking at it 2 Jobs since 1982. I solved the Over experience problem. I completely changed what I did for work. After Sandy I said to Bleep with work and retired. I knew the closing was coming and Paid off and closed all but two credit cards. Paid the remaining two down a couple of hundred each. Filed for SSI in July and started putting it all in savings. It has worked out so far. Between SSI and the pension from the previous job, after medicare, Full supplement insurance, and Prescription plan my take home cash is better than when I worked.
Funny that You should mention car I bought Mine new in 1988 and was still driving it to work when They closed last year. I have to change it finally. The mechanic said Too much rust. Keep the 99 Buick and junk this one.
The previous Job, When I bought the Car BTW. I was easy.
I'm one of the guys that didn't mind working holidays. I'm also the Guy that despite Seniority took my 4 weeks Vacation in January. I left the Summer weeks I could have had for someone with Kids.
Cost driven is right, How many jobs are going to Part time workers due to Obamacare?
I am so glad I'm out of the job market.
My last employer towards the end hired a lot of low cost workers to save money, Then wondered why they stole so much. They need to realize that You get what You pay for. I was one of, if not the highest paid workers and The only one I know of to get paid holidays.
I used to here from customers how hard it was to get reliable workers. They would get a call in the morning and the person they needed for a rush job would be calling out.
They need to realize that many older workers are more reliable.
Nothing like a man with a plan. Good for you.