Trying to fill a job at your insurance business? You might just be in luck if you’d consider hiring one of the 15 million workers between the ages of 55 and 70. Many older workers want to stay employed and are simply looking for an opportunity that brings in an income and reflects their values – things like balance, work-life flexibility, and chance to be creative and make a difference. These days, that doesn’t really sound all that different from workers in any age bracket.
The challenge is often to get employers to hire older workers, partially due to long-held stereotypes that perpetuate ageism in the workplace. Recent research from NYU and Stanford found that workers who openly oppose racism and sexism continue to hold prejudices against older workers. And an AARP survey found that 78% of older workers saw or experienced age discrimination in the workplace in 2020.
It seems that ageism in the workplace is still alive and well – perhaps because it’s hard to prove and easy to overlook. From late-night comedians to grocery store birthday cards and jokes about Sunday drivers, it’s just culturally acceptable to poke fun at people who are older.
Sure, cognitive processing speed declines with age, but other mental functions improve, such as language and speech. Beyond this, older workers bring years of on-the-job experience, which enables them to tap into a wealth of knowledge. This, in turn, helps them make wise decisions faster. They’re great at solving problems, skilled critical thinkers, and typically more empathetic than their younger counterparts. Older workers also tend to stay at jobs longer, take fewer sick days, and have a strong work ethic.
For specialized industries, like insurance, it could take years to teach a younger worker all they need to know about the industry. If you hire a pretiree who already has insurance experience, they already know the right questions to ask and how to get the job done. Some employers might worry about having to teach older workers about technology. However, research shows that the technology gap can be easily overcome, as older workers are willing to learn new tech skills.
Beyond considerations of age, it’s just smart business to hire an age-diverse workforce. Multigenerational teams bring a variety of perspectives to projects, which helps spur creative thinking and innovation. Every generation has something to learn from other generations. All it takes is an open mind.
When you’re ready to hire a veteran worker, WAHVE makes it easy. We’ll match your company with a vintage insurance professional who wants to phase into retirement. You get a motivated, committed, experienced remote worker with the skills you need. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses like yours fill talent gaps without missing a beat.