Skills = worth in older staff

The Advertiser - Careers - - Mature-age Staff -

MOST em­ploy­ees want to see their or­gan­i­sa­tion take big­ger steps to re­tain older work­ers, a sur­vey finds.

The Aus­tralian Hu­man Re­sources In­sti­tute study of hu­man re­source prac­ti­tion­ers has found that older work­ers of­ten can­not find work be­cause of the neg­a­tive per­cep­tion about their abil­i­ties in the work­place.

It re­veals 63 per cent of re­spon­dents be­lieve ma­tureage work­ers are not high per­form­ers and are risky hires.

More than a third of re­spon­dents (35 per cent) also be­lieve their or­gan­i­sa­tion is bi­ased to some ex­tent against the em­ploy­ment of older work­ers.

That is de­spite al­most half of re­spon­dents (46 per cent) re­port­ing that when older work­ers left their or­gan­i­sa­tion in the past year, they took away with them key knowl­edge and skills.

‘‘ Ap­prox­i­mately one-fifth of re­spon­dents (22 per cent) re­port that the de­par­ture of older work­ers has caused the or­gan­i­sa­tion to be less com­pet­i­tive,’’ the study says.

‘‘ More than eight out of 10 re­spon­dents (83 per cent) would like to see steps taken within their or­gan­i­sa­tion to re­tain older work­ers.’’

More than two-thirds of re­spon­dents (67 per cent) be­lieve retaining older work­ers would ben­e­fit their or­gan­i­sa­tion’s pro­duc­tiv­ity while 26 per cent be­lieve it would have no im­pact at all on pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The study also found that work­ers would pre­fer their or­gan­i­sa­tions to source their re­cruits from un­em­ployed older work­ers ahead of un­em­ployed youth, skilled im­mi­grants, un­em­ployed indige­nous work­ers and un­em­ployed peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity.

AHRI has for­warded the find­ings to Na­tional Se­niors Australia for use on a gov­ern­ment con­sul­ta­tion on ma­tureage em­ploy­ment.

VAL­UED: Work­mates are keen to have older col­leagues re­tained in their work­place.

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