Times columnist Ryan Windsor: Age is but a number - can older workers help your business?

Columnist Ryan Windsor. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Columnist Ryan Windsor. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Workers over 55 could be more capable, efficient and productive than younger employees, a recent study has shown.

One of the major findings was that older employees could handle a much larger workload than their younger counterparts.

What is the reason for this and should you be changing your hiring strategy?

Now, I am not suggesting you go and lay off your younger work force and hire over 55s instead. The point I am trying to make is that a balance in the age distribution of your staff is likely to be highly beneficial.

There is an assumption that the older generation is slower physically, but, although this might be true, the experience and focus they have makes up for it. Increased experience, in combination with lower stress levels and a healthier life style, result in the higher rates at which older workers can process tasks.

They also are more proactive, and are more efficient at solving problems and coming up with solutions.

With higher levels of focus, and more experience, it is no wonder that elderly staff can be more productive during work.

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Of course there are a number of other variables to consider when making decisions about who to hire. These include the type of job you are offering, as well as the qualifications, suitability and availability of your potential workforce.

However, if you find a 55 and over applicant who matches your criteria, it is definitely beneficial to seriously consider the candidate, alongside younger competitors.

Keeping the balance is key as there are huge advantages to a diverse workforce. With the constant changes to the economy, it might well be worth looking at the opportunities of hiring both seasoned professionals, who can independently work on projects, while sharing their skills and experience with trainees starting off after finishing college or university.

In effect it would be pity to miss out on the collaborative ‘sharing mentality’ among age groups. The knowledge, openness and advice to younger team members of more experienced staff could have huge benefits for any company.

Times columnist and entrepreneur Ryan Windsor is the director of Windsor Properties.

To ask him a question email ryanwindsor89@gmail.com