Privy to the TL;DR mentality? Here it is in five sentences.
- Big picture. The cost of living crisis is forcing people out of retirement.
- By 2050, 30% of the working-age population around the globe will be 50+.
- Improved life expectancy, remote working capabilities and increased retirement ages mean workplaces need to be actively welcoming older workers into their organisations.
- In order to take ED&I seriously as an organisation, you need to consider this demographic as part of your inclusive hiring strategy.
- Negative stereotypes exists around the over 50s. The reality is that older workers reach productivity faster and are much better at making complex decisions.
But for those of you with a bit more time, a recent post from our Paid Search & Social Coordinator, Leqi dug a bit more into Google search trends. And it threw up some fascinating statistics:
- Since the start of February 2021, the number of people considering a return to work has increased to 58%.
- It’s been predicted by ONS that by 2050, 30% of the global ‘working-age population’ will be 50+. That’s 1.6 billion people.
- When it comes to our current workforces and workplaces, agism exists. And not just here. This is a global issue.
Every single day, the working population continues to develop that long sought-after ‘experience’. Remember that thing you found almost impossible to acquire?
Sounds great, right? Well, no actually. Because:
- People over the age of 50 find it twice as hard to find work than younger demographics.
- 78% of people aged between 40-65 say they have experienced or witnessed ageism in the workplace.
- Only 30% of companies train staff to ensure recruitment practices are free of age bias.
- Just 12% of organisations are actively targeting older workers.
These less than promising figures are held up by, you guessed it, pre-conceived prejudices.
Data suggests there’s an opportunity here. One to be capitalised on in an exceedingly good way. And we’re not talking one of those infamous ‘shorting’ style true stories that later turns into a film with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and Margot Robbie in the bath. But if it were to be we could call it ‘The Big Shortage’.
You can have that one…
This is an important topic. One that throws up new insights and patterns relating to this demographics’ job search journey. From how the audience refers it itself to the cost of living crisis, to the future of our workplaces.
Using a combination of Google Ad Keyword Planner, ONS data and several excellent articles about the matter published online, here are some initial thoughts.
- This is not a ‘should we?’ question. It’s a ‘When do we start this?’ question.
- Ageism, in any form, is discrimination, right? And this fundamentally impacts any organisations efforts to claim they care about diversity. We need to get our heads out of our arses and move away from ‘diversity’ meaning ‘people of colour’.
- It’s super easy to leverage keywords used by this demographic to target job seekers. Analysing these search terms also means we’re aware of how the over 50s refer to themselves, removing patronising language and causing offence with our communications.
If you’re reading this, you’re going to be in one of three categories. The first (like me): someone in your family or someone you work with is in this category. The second: you’re nearing this age and more scared of it than AI or world war three. The third: you’re in this category. Eeek.
The difficult question that this poses for me is: At what point does ‘experienced’ become ‘old’?
Advancements in technology combined with the view that Gen-Z just know how to do everything online (they don’t, they’re consumers), older workers are being pushed out by an inexperienced workforce with ‘potential’ to grow into roles.
Combine this with young people’s view of workplaces and work-life balance and disenfranchisement from low pay, the cost of living and global instability and you’ve got yourself a real conundrum.
There are two options here. Workers who you think can help with that TikTok account you don’t plan on engaging with? Or two generations of worldly people willing to put in the hours, learn fast and adapt to a workplace that wants them to thrive?
I think the answer is obvious when put like this. Smartphones are in every pocket. Digital audiences are growing. Influencers are so much more than 20 year old girls in tracksuits. This is an opportunity to create a welcoming work environment.
As the government (yawn) and Baroness WhoHarr De Caviar hash out the fiscal complications of this potentially devastating scenario, you can take the lead. We’re a solutions focused business in an industry creating the best workplaces for the best organisationss in the world
We say PENSIONERS FOR ALL!