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December 4, 2017

Hire Smart: 6 Reasons to Mobilize an Older, Flexible Workforce

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Finding and retaining adequate talent in Insurance feels precarious—the industry faces a huge talent gap, with less than one in ten Millennials expressing interest or education in insurance, and nearly half a million insurance professionals slated to retire in the next few years. Maybe you’re an insurance company that’s feeling unsure of how pre-retirement/retirement age professionals can fill your talent gap, and why the flexible workplace could be your best bet for retaining these experienced insurance professionals. Below is a breakdown of our top six reasons for mobilizing a flexible workforce comprised of veteran insurance employees.

  1. Flexible Workers are More Productive

Working remotely and on a flexible schedule is a “powerful productivity tool” says Manon DeFelice for Forbes Magazine. As DeFelice points out, a survey by FlexJobs reported that “76% of workers said that when they want to get important work done, they avoid the office.” And numerous collaborative experiments between top universities and companies around the world have reinforced this finding, such as the one by Stanford University and Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, which found that when 250 Ctrip employees telecommuted over a nine-month period, “these home-based employees worked 9.5% longer and were 13% more productive than the employees who stayed in the office.” Need we say more?

  1. Flexible Workers are Better Engaged

A study published in the Oxford Academic Press’s quarterly publication “Social Problems” found that flexibility in the workplace “reduced psychological distress, perceived stress and burnout, while increasing job satisfaction and lowering the rates of workplace turnover.”  When employees experience less stress and more satisfaction at work, they’re better motivated to be their best selves for work from productivity, presence, problem-solving, and collaborative standpoints—promising employers top return on their employee investment.

  1. Flexible Workers are Your Present & Your Future

The flexible workplace is a growing trend and is a top-desired perk by employees. Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” report found that only did “43% of Americans worked remotely last year” but that “flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job.” And a FlexJobs survey found that 82% of its survey respondents “would remain more loyal to an employer, 20% would take a pay cut, 18% would work more hours and 22% would forgo health benefits for a flex work arrangement.” Regardless of the age bracket you’re seeking to hire, flexibility is a magnet for top talent.

  1. Older Workers Are Expert Leaders & Communicators

Veteran professionals have worked the majority of their career in a time, as author Vivian Gang for American Express’s Open Forums says, “when communication wasn’t dominated by e-mail, instant messaging, texting or social media” and because of this they’ve had decades to hone effective communication and leadership techniques that engage both clients and colleagues. As our economy recovers and the demand for insurance professionals, especially those with managerial experience, increases, older workers offer tested and robust experience in leading and facilitating communication that translates into better business results.

  1. Older Workers Have Unprecedented Work Ethic

This may seem like a bold claim, but numerous research studies have found that in both perception of older professionals as well as self-reported ethical standards, Baby Boomers rank the highest. A Pew Research Center survey found that when “asked who has the better work ethic, about three-fourths of respondents said that older people do” and a report published by Randstad Work Solutions found that 90 percent of older respondents said that being “ethical” is “extremely or very important” to workplace culture, whereas 83 percent of Gen X workers and 66 percent of Gen Y workers agreed.”

  1. Older Workers Are Reliable

Unlike younger professionals, veteran employees aren’t constantly on the prowl for the next opportunity they hope will advance them up the career ladder. Consider the return on your company’s investment of man hours and financial resources put into screening, hiring and training young workers when you frequently end up seeing these young professionals leave for “greener pastures” after a few months. Older workers have often arrived at the professional level they aspired to, and they “tend to be more interested in stability” whereas “a recent college graduate might be most concerned about moving up the corporate ladder as quickly as possible.” When you hire an older worker, you can count much more on their reliability and commitment to the position for which you’ve hired them.

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