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Honored Social Butterfly

Comment I recently heard about senior hiring

   Just a little anecdotal thing.

I have an acquaintance who owns a small business with roughly 50 employees. He is a senior himself. We were talking about lack of job skills in so many people and how he struggles to find qualified people.

   He mentioned, surprisingly, that he really doesn't want to hire seniors largely because he needs people to keep the business going long term. He expects to eventually retire and pass the business on. He wants to give young people a chance to make a decent living, and he wants to hire people that will stay on long term and keep the business as a good, long-term, going concern. Hiring seniors does not fit that goal. 

  In the interest of full disclosure, he also did make the comment that he has some seniors working for him. They have been with him awhile, and indeed, have good work ethic. But they are 'slow' and are poor at adapting to changing conditions with their work.   


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Periodic Contributor

Explain to your friend that Americans change jobs, on average, every 4 years or so. Younger Americans are less loyal to companies than older workers. So if he's looking for someone to build his business for the future, he should invest in experienced people, those who have the know-how to help his company establish good business practices and policies, and who can train younger workers. The best, most successful companies have a good balance of entry-level and experienced employees. As for seniors not being able to adapt to changing conditions, it's your friend's job to help them adapt, whether that entails providing training sessions himself, bringing in someone to train them, or providing online courses. Seniors can learn, but someone has to be willing to teach them.

Honored Social Butterfly


@kn1820wrote:

 "................... As for seniors not being able to adapt to changing conditions, it's your friend's job to help them adapt, whether that entails providing training sessions himself, bringing in someone to train them, or providing online courses. Seniors can learn, but someone has to be willing to teach them.....".


"Adapting" is more than learning. Both DW and myself have seen any number of working seniors struggle, and quit, jobs where how the job was done was severely altered. They just refused to change their procedures and gave the old 'that's the way we always did it' excuse. In the cases I'm familiar with, there was training, but it was simply 'too much' to get (some) seniors to adapt.

  Again, it's anecdotal, but that has been my experience and dw's, and we're both in our late 60's. I was in IT, and had to relearn about 30% of my job every several years with the huge changes in hardware/software. It was a lot of work, a lot of extra hours on my own, to do this.    


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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"I was in IT, and had to relearn about 30% of my job every several years with the huge changes in hardware/software. It was a lot of work, a lot of extra hours on my own, to do this."

But hasn't that been the norm forever? Upgrade from oral history to using a burned sticks to draw pictographs on the cave wall ... to alphabet on clay tablet ... Gutenberg's printing press ... IBM wizardry ... voice recognition, and on we go. Research is always bubbling away in the background.

Most of us adapt to the changes without much difficulty. I started working in offices in the mid '60s. Technology was moving right along, IBM was making inroads into offices, so my employer made sure I got the latest training to upgrade skills and tech knowledge as the equipment improved. As a lawyer, I took a required number of continuing education hours every year to remain current. "Adapt or die" applies to all animals, it's just the context that varies.
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Honored Social Butterfly

In the interest of full disclosure, he also did make the comment that he has some seniors working for him. They have been with him awhile, and indeed, have good work ethic. But they are 'slow' and are poor at adapting to changing conditions with their work. @retiredtraveler......I am a working senior. What I always suggest to seniors is go take a few courses.....things have changed. Admit you don't know how to sort three columns of entries and ask if someone will teach you. Look information up. I have learned some computer skills simply by watching a video on Youtube. Most of all, don't act like you are owed something because of your age. Also, a smile and sense of humor helps. Respect your co-workers and middle and top management. They didn't age you. Aging is a normal process. It is what we do with it and how we handle it that counts.

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