While the nation's unemployment rate continues to be low, the unemployment rate among workers 55-plus is deceiving. That's partly because those older workers who are employed may be working part-time when they really want to work full-time. There is some good news for older workers, though: An overall low unemployment rate means companies may be loosening up their hiring practices and offering positions to more mature individuals.
According to AARP, CVS, United Health Group, AT&T, and The Hartford are four examples of companies that are actively recruiting older workers. CVS, for example, promotes positions through an initiative the corporation calls "Talent Is Ageless." Almost one-quarter of CVS employees are over 50 years of age, and older workers are matched with younger, less experienced peers to offer them valuable guidance. The Hartford, through "The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence," actively seeks employees from senior centers and retirement communities.
AARP is encouraging companies to join in. The AARP Employer Pledge Program is a national effort to help employers solve their current and future staffing challenges and direct job seekers to employers that value and are hiring experienced workers. Working with AARP, participating organizations have signed a pledge that they:
- Believe in equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age
- Believe that 50+ workers should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for and obtain jobs
- Recognize the value of experienced workers
- Recruit across diverse age groups and consider all applicants on an equal basis.
AARP also offers helpful web-based resources specifically for 50-plus workers:
It is encouraging to see at least some companies acknowledge the value of experience and maturity that older workers bring to a workplace.