You can teach an old dog new tricks

GROWING old disgracefully used to be the preserve of the rich and idle.  Retirement for everyone else was seen as the chance to indulge your passion for gardening or golf.

Today’s ‘pensioners’ are more likely to indulge their passion for each other or embarking on some adventure in the pursuit of health and happiness.

21st century pensioners are living very different lives to those of previous generations as improved healthcare and beauty regimes have meant they are looking and feeling younger far longer.  For many that also means remaining at work because they have to or taking up a new career because they want to.

Increasingly here at The Works Specialist Recruitment we’re being approached by both employers looking for mature workers and retirees looking for a new career.

So why do it?

First of all, mature workers bring skills, experience and expertise that instantly add value to any workplace.

Often mentally agile they can adapt to new careers faster.  At the same time, they can help younger colleagues by adding their years’ experience.

It has been scientifically proven that remaining mentally and physically active helps stave off conditions linked to aging such as dementia, Alzheimer’s as well as depression.  As well as being good for your brain, keeping active is good for your heart.

Flexibility is another attraction.  Employers are attracted to older workers who don’t want or need a permanent full-time career because they can be called in when needed, while retirees often prefer a few days work a week or are happy to fit into short term contracts as and when they become available.  After all they still want to be able to cruise when it gets too cold in Blighty.

Another advantage for employers is that older workers may be silver surfers but not on work’s time.  They appreciate that time is money and get cracking.  Not for them internet shopping or dating at work.

But there is no generational battle.  Research has shown that blending old and young in the same workforce is good for everyone.  Retirees can inspire the next generation to succeed and climb the career ladder, while millennials teach old dogs new tricks.

Of course, with an aging population and fewer younger workers we all need to consider tapping into our older workers to build resilient and sustainable workforces.

Already The Works has matched some candidates keen to launch a second career with clients who recognize the benefits of mature workers and the attitude they bring which can trump any lack of aptitude.

We’re currently working with Airedale Air Conditioning to find them staff for a long-term contract well into the autumn.  Airedale have always adopted a radical approach to employment and prize attitude over aptitude.  They understand the value of someone who can bring experience and maturity to the workplace and the added value it offers them.   They look for mature people with a proven track record of attendance and general practical skills.  The rest they can teach them once on site.

And for Bryan it’s given him a new lease of life.  “I got in touch with Airedale direct because I heard they were recruiting.  My son works there, and I knew some of my practical skills would be useful.  They steered me to The Works who eased the admin path.  Retirement didn’t suit me, I felt my skills had some value and here I feel they and I are appreciated.  I have discovered you can teach an old dog new tricks! “