Aitch Are Gives You...
Being "of a certain age", (full disclosure: yes, it may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am 21 and a bit!) I was looking forward to hearing from Lucy Standing from Brave Starts, a career transition not-for-profit aimed at helping those over 50 in the workplace, at our latest International HR Forum gathering.
Lucy's starting point was that although the proportion of over-50s is the fastest growing part of the workforce (it has doubled in size to 10.7m workers over the last 25 years, and this trend is accelerating), it was also one of the most neglected and under-funded.
So what are the issues?
- The over 50s have less opportunity in the job market, so current recruitment models are not cutting it in terms of attracting a broad, diverse skills-set.
- Job descriptions not reflecting the jobs that are being done.
- The career guidance market is crowded, with a lot of variable quality in there.
And what is the business case for supporting employees who are over 50?
- Anticipate and prepare for the increasing proportion of the workforce being over 50.
- It makes financial sense, as employers can defer the need to attract, ramp up, etc.
- This part of the workforce have a lot of built-in knowledge.
- They can act as role models for the younger demographics.
- It enables employers to demonstrate that they care for all employees.
- Jobs for life may have been a thing of the past, but engagement and retention is still key.
- Gain competitive advantage by doing something innovative with the fastest growing demographic.
- It is socially responsible, and combats ageism.
- Encourages people to continually evolve their skills-set.
- Tap into the high drive over 50s have re retaining a sense of purpose, and a desire to learn new things (per a survey of 4,100 over 50s).
- Covid is acting as an accelerator when it comes to accepting more flexible working patterns.
What factors prevent people from making a change?
- They may not be sure what to do next.
- They have experienced ageism, or think that they may do so.
- Financially trapped.
There is recognition that there may be some pressure from an employer perspective:
- There is a section of this demographic that will be wanting to plan for retirement over a period of time.
- This demographic may be higher paid than younger people who may be able to do similar things at a reduced cost.
Strategies to retain, or aid the transition, of the over 50s:
- Give time (paid, or unpaid) for people to explore and develop skills. For example, Monzo provide 30 days of unpaid leave.
- Provide opportunities for people to shadow other jobs (internally or externally) that may be of interest.
- Support building confidence into a new role.
- Enable access to online courses around career change.
- Facilitate introductions to other companies.
- Encourage mid-life financial MOTs.
Finally - check out and connect with Brave Starts:
- You can signal your support as an employer who supports ageing better simply by directing your employees to get membership with Brave Starts. There are two tiers: free and a £25 (excl VAT) per employee per year level. As a not for profit, all fees support the community. Brave Starts accepts no advertising and doesn’t sell data, so do please consider reading more here: https://www.bravestarts.com/corporate
- Might your employees be interested in becoming volunteers and raising money for charity in the process? You can email Lucy to discuss (there is no cost in doing this at all).
- Read more: https://www.bravestarts.com/
- Connect with Lucy: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucystanding/ and @Brave_Starts
Thanks all - stay safe, be good and see you soon.