Business people various ages

What Makes an Employer Age-Friendly?

This piece is part of a longer, crowd-sourced series about what “age-friendly” means and looks like in different contexts.  This time, we asked respondents: what would make an employer age-friendly, from their perspective? Below is a synthesis of the most common answers.

Respect for Experience

  • An employer who values all your life experiences and what you have learned from those experiences and maybe even any mistakes and values that along with all your wisdom
  • Someone who thinks your experience adds value to their company and pays you your worth
  • They recognize the value of life’s experience as knowledge acquired that can’t be received in any school or classroom and that the work ethics and skills have value also
  • I think that they know that older employees are reliable and responsible.
  • Taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience that older potential employees can contribute to the employer.
  • Willing to recognize that people over age 65 have a great deal of experience and expertise.
  • Sometimes a more mature worker is more reliable, knowledgeable and willing to learn new things plus bring maturity to the workplace.
  • They value the experience that an older person brings, and demonstrate an eagerness to employ a person with experience, and show a willingness to identify how that experience can be used to benefit the organization.

Patient and Accommodating

  • Willing to give a senior citizen a chance to learn computers and different apps. The employer knows that the older a person gets the slower they are with more aches and pains.
  • A willingness to accommodate an elderly person if the person needs the accommodation–a flexible schedule, shorter work days, fewer work days–and to pay accordingly.
  • Willing to recognize that elderly may need a different work/life ratio
  • Making allowances for age related issues
  • Respects physical limitations, allows for regular breaks.
  • Allow for a slightly slower pace, not require travel, perhaps reduced hours, attention to ergonomics, ability to get up and move throughout the day, work from home.

Not Focused on Age

  • They are interested in your work ability, not your age
  • Work history…not age
  • That they look at a persons actions, not their age.
  • Attitude, eye contact, giving them as much responsibility and tough assignments as they would their younger employees, hiring based on ability and not age, etc.
  • One who sees each candidate as an individual, not a demographic.
  • An employer that only looks at your experience and qualifications and doesn’t consider your age when hiring.

Other Older Employees

  • Substantial percentage of staff are seniors
  • When senior management is older. Looking for experience.
  • Seeing other older people on their staff
  • Equal number of employees in each age group

Hiring and Firing

  • Does not fire/downsize older employee because they earn more.
  • Not considering how close someone seems to retirement when opportunities for career enhancement arise.
  • He/she looks at everyone who applies and verifies their skill set.  You are not rejected immediately because they don’t like the year you graduated from high school.This piece is part of a longer, crowd-sourced series about what “age-friendly” means and looks like in different contexts.  This time, we asked respondents: what would make an employer age-friendly, from their perspective? Below is a synthesis of the most common answers.

Respect for Experience

  • An employer who values all your life experiences and what you have learned from those experiences and maybe even any mistakes and values that along with all your wisdom
  • Someone who thinks your experience adds value to their company and pays you your worth
  • They recognize the value of life’s experience as knowledge acquired that can’t be received in any school or classroom and that the work ethics and skills have value also
  • I think that they know that older employees are reliable and responsible.
  • Taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience that older potential employees can contribute to the employer.
  • Willing to recognize that people over age 65 have a great deal of experience and expertise.
  • Sometimes a more mature worker is more reliable, knowledgeable and willing to learn new things plus bring maturity to the workplace.
  • They value the experience that an older person brings, and demonstrate an eagerness to employ a person with experience, and show a willingness to identify how that experience can be used to benefit the organization.

Patient and Accommodating

  • Willing to give a senior citizen a chance to learn computers and different apps. The employer knows that the older a person gets the slower they are with more aches and pains.
  • A willingness to accommodate an elderly person if the person needs the accommodation–a flexible schedule, shorter work days, fewer work days–and to pay accordingly.
  • Willing to recognize that elderly may need a different work/life ratio
  • Making allowances for age related issues
  • Respects physical limitations, allows for regular breaks.
  • Allow for a slightly slower pace, not require travel, perhaps reduced hours, attention to ergonomics, ability to get up and move throughout the day, work from home.

Not Focused on Age

  • They are interested in your work ability, not your age
  • Work history…not age
  • That they look at a persons actions, not their age.
  • Attitude, eye contact, giving them as much responsibility and tough assignments as they would their younger employees, hiring based on ability and not age, etc.
  • One who sees each candidate as an individual, not a demographic.
  • An employer that only looks at your experience and qualifications and doesn’t consider your age when hiring.

Other Older Employees

  • Substantial percentage of staff are seniors
  • When senior management is older. Looking for experience.
  • Seeing other older people on their staff
  • Equal number of employees in each age group

Hiring and Firing

    • Does not fire/downsize older employee because they earn more.
    • Not considering how close someone seems to retirement when opportunities for career enhancement arise.
    • He/she looks at everyone who applies and verifies their skill set.  You are not rejected immediately because they don’t like the year you graduated from high school.
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