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.
- 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.