Although the “Baby Boom” is over, our society is still aging. However, the American Association of Retired Persons paints a grim picture for those no longer retired to stay in or re-enter the job market. AARP describes totally legal new methods of discriminating, such as requiring an applicant be currently employed or having been unemployed for fewer than six months. When many plus 50s have been “made redundant” and it takes months to find a new job the more you earned, how can they qualify? And is the trend of hiring younger people wise?
How Cost-Effective Are Younger Employees?
As a marketing executive turned teacher, I was laid off in the 2008 financial collapse, along with many tenured teachers. But a lot of new teachers, including interns without a credential, were kept on because they were much cheaper to employ. From many contacts in the corporate world, I know the same trend occurred there. Is that really cost-effective?
Senior citizens are more knowledgeable and experienced in their professions than someone half their age could possibly be. In virtually any profession, it is accepted that it takes approximately five years for a new employee to truly understand and begin to master their job. Although the learning curve plateaus somewhat after that point, an intelligent employee continues to grow in their competence and value to the employer.
Conventional hiring wisdom says younger people will stay in the job longer. But the turnover rate among the young does not support that argument. True, older people require more personal medical care, but most jobs offer very limited healthcare plans and insist employees cover part of the costs. Besides, isn’t healthcare expensive for families with young children?
Baby Boomers Are Better Educated
As a teacher, there can be no doubt the educational system deteriorated and continues to decline since 1970. Recent graduates must learn many basic skills on the job, including how to write, how to relate what they learned in school to the working world, and even their social skills. So many young people of today have been brought up in the electronic and computer environment that they relate better to machines that people. This may be great for working remotely in some highly technical environment, but is very bad for cooperating in the normal corporate environment.
Baby Boomers Are Highly Motivated
For one thing, the minimization or elimination of most corporate retirement plans will force those over 50 and even 60 to work many more years than they may have intended. In addition, the elimination of health care benefits plus the increased costs has strongly increased the need for older people to keep working to pay for healthcare plans. Senior citizens show up every day and do their jobs.