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The Construction Industry Can Bridge the Labor Shortage by Hiring Employees 65 or Older

The construction industry is coming around to the fact that age is not an indicator of job performance. It is no longer an aberration to see construction employers hire candidates who are in their late 60s, 70s and even 80s.

This trend has been coming for a long time. Fifteen years ago, employers were often resistant to the idea of interviewing candidates older than 65. By 2012, attitudes were beginning to shift. There are several reasons why more construction companies are recruiting and hiring workers aged 65 and up.

Fewer young workers are starting careers in construction

Employers are looking to older workers to fill the gap. Survey after survey has shown that the millennial generation, which has now surpassed baby boomers to become the largest generation, wants job flexibility and more time for family and personal pursuits.

In fact, a 2012 U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey found three out of four millennials reported that work-life balance is the single greatest driver of their career choices. The long hours often required for construction careers may be one reason why millennials are turning away from the profession. Hiring seasoned professionals with long track records that demonstrate a dedication to career and a strong work ethic is a smart move in this climate.

Millennials are much more likely to job hop than older generations

According to a 2016 survey by Deloitte, two-thirds of millennials say they want to leave their current position by 2020. There was a time when construction employers hired younger workers with the expectation that they would be with the company for twenty years or more. Savvy companies no longer expect new hires to stay for decades. The paradigm has changed and will continue to change as the industry and the workforce shift over time. Employers who have not already done so must update their recruitment and hiring policies to fit the new normal.

Hire Seasoned Candidates

Successful companies are tapping into the incredible pool of talent made up of seasoned professionals who are currently older than 65. There are many potential benefits to doing so. Many older workers are more dedicated to their jobs and willing to work longer hours than their younger counterparts. Older workers often do not have the same competing priorities faced by those who are raising families. Rates of absenteeism may be lower among empty nesters.

Older workers can also serve as mentors to younger staff members. Workers with decades of experience in the industry frequently feel driven to pass on their hard-earned wisdom through mentorship.

Having highly experienced workers on staff can also contribute to the success of your business in other unanticipated ways. Clients often associate older employees with high levels of experience and higher qualities of work.

From higher levels of client confidence to higher levels of productivity, there are numerous reasons why hiring older workers can be a smart move.


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