Is Hiring an Older Worker a Good Thing?

Julie Shenkman
Posted by

Many modern companies dedicate themselves to seeking young workers, but older employees have a lot to offer. Largely underestimated, older workers often have to deal with common misconceptions about their age group, but studies show that hiring older employees has many benefits for both employees and companies.


The most obvious benefit that older employees provide to companies is their experience. Older workers come armed with years of industry knowledge They can provide valuable insight to their younger counterparts, and their years of professional and personal experience give them the ability to speak knowledgeably to customers, vendors and colleagues.


The experience that older employees come with makes them a valuable resource within the work place. They have seen it all: failures and successes, innovations and duds. They've been through a wide variety of on-the-job experiences, so they are able to impart wise words and guidance to younger or more inexperienced co-workers. Young workers may be more enthusiastic and optimistic, while older workers are more realistic and practical. It makes for a great balance within the workforce.


Studies prove that work groups with greater diversity perform better. If every person within a work group is of a similar demographic, they may share too many common viewpoints, potentially robbing the company of unique ideas. People from different backgrounds, including age, gender, race and job history, provide fresher perspectives to problems. This leads to greater team bonding, fewer mistakes, better brainstorming and greater motivation.


One reason many employers shy away from hiring older employees is because they assume older workers are more expensive in terms of salary and benefits. This may not always be the case. Some benefits packages no longer require companies to provide expensive pensions, and older candidates may be willing to accept smaller salaries in exchange for better insurance packages. Additionally, spending a little extra on a more experienced employee may actually save money, as experienced professionals can hit the ground running with little to no additional training.


In today's competitive job market, young workers can be quick to leave a company for a better job opportunity, to return to school, to start a family or to switch career paths. This leads to higher turnover rates and even higher training expenses. Older employees are more likely to be satisfied with their chosen career and thus more settled and stable. By employing more older employees, companies can reduce turnover, saving themselves money in the long run and creating greater stability in their workforce.

Consider how adding experienced, qualified older employees to your workforce can benefit your company. More seasoned workers bring greater business know-how, work experience, loyalty and strong work ethic, while younger employees can offer technological prowess and fresh perspective. For the greatest benefit, make sure your workforce represents diverse age groups.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Tucker thanks for your comment. I can hear your frustration. Now that companies will put out a job posting for the "ideal" employee even though they know that they won't find it. So don't let the fact that you are not 100% qualified for a position keep you from applying. I did have to laugh at your twitter example. Some folks do get carried away with that. From my perspective, if you are not in a customer-centric or SEO/marketing type position, you probably don't need to be tweeting at all. All you need to do is show the company why you are THE candidate that they are looking for. Show them how they will benefit from hiring you. That's all they want. Hunting for a job is just like trying to make a sale with you being the product.

  • Tucker D.
    Tucker D.

    ...and yet, it really doesn't usually matter how well you have "kept up" with trends, devices, skills ... if you don't fit into the specific cubbiehole someone is looking for, they will not hire you though you may have all kinds of interpersonal and business acumen. Just like the days when you were young and "didn't have experience, so we can't hire you," "but, how do I get experience if you don't hire me," now it is the opposite. "You haven't tweeted ten times a day for this type of company with this many employees" so sorry...

Jobs to Watch