With many major corporations cutting their staffs to part-time, the beneficiaries of the reduced hours could be people aged 50 or 55 and older who have had significant problems finding work in the past.
Age discrimination is rampant throughout the United States even though it is supposedly illegal. One reason it is so easy to ignore senior candidates for jobs is a simple review of someone’s resume. A person with an impressive work experience record is almost always someone who has been in the workforce for a considerable amount of time. Such experience is a giveaway about a person’s age because it is generally not possible to amass that amount of knowledge without a high degree of longevity.
Potential candidates who put employment dates on their CVs are even easier to identify when it comes to age. Through simple calculations, human resources professionals can make a decision about age that can be explained away as being “over qualified for the position” or some other similar corporate-speak definition that gives them a valid reason for not considering a candidate. Such options are not acceptable when it comes to race or gender because HR cannot ignore them.
Reduced hours, however, are an ideal opportunity for senior workers who are frequently only seeking supplemental income in the first place. Consequently, businesses that had policies against senior new-hires may now be reconsidering their positions for a variety of reasons that are more acceptable with seniors than their younger counterparts.
Chances are seniors are going to be much less competitive than younger generations when it comes to moving up the corporate ladder. Seniors have a “been there, done that” attitude and have no need to become the next president of the company. They will be more inclined to put in a good day’s work without controversy or upsetting staff compatibility.
In addition, an older worker has usually learned through years of experience in the workforce how to be more tactful when dealing with internal problems or with customers. Therefore a senior’s customer service skills are very likely to be superior to those of a junior colleague.
With additional free time, fewer family issues and less need for nights and weekends off, seniors as a group have more flexibility for scheduling than youthful associates.
Senior employees tend to be more punctual, more reliable, more independent and, perhaps, more dedicated to completing their required duties in a timely manner because they are generally more efficient.
Though all of these attributes existed when American corporations would not even consider hiring a senior worker, they have become more credible in today’s marketplace partly because seniors are thankful to now have more employment opportunities available to them.
Then where does Obamacare fit into this scenario? Because many seniors have no need for healthcare. Seniors who are on Medicare already have medical coverage which means a business is able to hire high caliber, experienced personnel with strong people skills who have no need of health insurance.
Reducing internal staff problems ensures greater productivity which means higher revenues.
The new opportunities for Baby Boomers and other aging workers is a blessing provided by the current healthcare program that was never considered. Senior citizens have long been forgotten or overlooked as people able to make viable contributions to the nation’s workforce. Now by an odd quirk of fate, jobs are increasing for seniors and, in the long run, that should be a major plus for American corporations.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
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