The older generation feel they’re being overlooked by potential employers, a new study by Capita Resourcing has found.

According to 1002 workers over 55, a third of people in their 50s and older are concerned that employers aren’t trying hard enough to recruit them because they’re more concerned about attracting millennials. Although they have a wide range of skills and experience that they’ve racked up over several decades of work, as much as 73% of respondents feel that they’re being pushed aside for the younger generation who are more in-tune with technological developments.

We’ve looked before at the issues and benefits of multigenerational workforces and how the combination of younger and older employees can affect office design. There is particular concern over how well these two generations will merge together in the workplace, although with the likelihood of different skill sets being exchanged across the age gap, there are great opportunities for these workers to become more advanced in their respective jobs.

According to the study, however, only 23% of employers said that they’re actively seeking to hire people aged over 50, while 17% of older workers believed that their age has influenced whether or not they’ve received a promotion. This comes despite 94% of businesses believing that older workers could be what they need to overcome the current skills gap.

Chris Merrick, Director at Capita Resourcing, labelled these unfortunate statistics as “a huge missed opportunity” and condemned these businesses for overlooking those in the older age bracket simply because of their focus on technology and innovation. “It’s time for a recalibration of what it means to be an older worker – these employees want to be challenged, not side-lined.”

Older workers aren’t going to develop technological skills as strong as their millennial counterparts if employers don’t give them the opportunity to. It’s a reverse of employers not hiring someone younger simply because they don’t have enough experience, even though that’s something they’ll never gain if no-one hires them. Both of these thought processes are incredibly flawed and prevent businesses from discovering untapped potential by staying safe with who they hire.

With the pension age set to be 66 by 2020, the proportion of older people in the working population is going to continue to grow. With this change, businesses will have to step up and be more accommodating of these workers or else struggle to fill employment gaps. While they may believe hiring older people will hinder the level of work being done in the office, it’s more than likely that they’ll be in an even worse position without them.

James Darvill

James is a passionate scriptwriter and reluctant poet with a talent for the dystopian. When he’s not staying up late watching the Simpsons he’s beating the world at Mario Kart, always with a glass of wine in hand.
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