Companies for Older Workers
November 5, 2002
Aren't any employers
making an effort to attract, develop, and reward people over 50? These 15
companies (small and large) are.
U.S. population is aging, yet stereotypes about older workers still keep
many employers from hiring and developing people over 50. Clearly,
something's got to give. Consider: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says
that 13% of American workers today are over 55, and that figure will
increase to 20% by 2015, but the percentage of workers aged 25 to 34
continues to decline. Meanwhile, the number of age discrimination
complaints filed this year is up 24%, reports the federal Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, making this the fastest-growing category of
any employers making an effort to attract, develop, and reward people in
an age group whose members, after all, have decades of solid experience in
their favor? The AARP set out to answer that question and came up with a
list of the 15 best places for older people to work. The researchers
looked at recruiting (including willingness to hire former or retired
employees), career development and training, continued opportunities for
advancement, compensation, and health and retirement benefits.
Health, the largest nonprofit health-care organization in South Florida,
excelled in all the categories, and won particular honors for offering
flextime, job sharing, telecommuting, and compressed work schedules.
is especially important to people over 50 because, while many don't want
to retire altogether, they often have major responsibilities like caring
for elderly parents or bringing up grandchildren," says John Rother,
the AARP's policy director.
of Baptist Health's strong points: rewarding older workers for putting
their experience to work. For example, the company pays bonuses to
long-time nurses who coach and mentor less-experienced colleagues.
the full list of the AARP's honorees:
they're smart, plenty of other companies in the years ahead will want to
take a look at what these 15 are doing to tap all the over-50 talent
that'll be out there. While putting this list together, the AARP also
polled 1,500 people aged 45 to 76 and found that 69% say they expect never
to retire completely. Of those, 34% said they wanted to keep working
because they enjoy it, 19% think they will need the income from part-time
work, 10% hope to go into business for themselves, and 6% said they'll
"work full time but doing something else." Asked what their
ideal job would include, 76% cited flexible work schedules as
are living longer and healthier lives--and the baby boomers, who are now
coming up on 'retirement' age, are better educated than any previous
generation, so they're more likely to be in white-collar jobs where no
physical labor is involved," says Rother. "People over 50 really
feel they're at the peak of their powers. As they become an even more
dynamic force in the economy, employers are going to have to find
innovative ways to attract, manage, and retain them."
It's about time.