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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Older Workers Take Younger Opportunities (2)

Becoming Their Own Boss

Some mature workers are using a challenging job market as a catalyst to entrepreneurship. Of mature workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and did not find a job, 23 percent are considering starting their own business.

“Mature workers offer a wealth of knowledge and experience that has translated into a significant competitive advantage for employers,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Employers are considering mature job candidates for a variety of positions ranging from entry-level to senior-level to consultants to leverage their intellectual capital and mentor other workers. Twenty-nine percent of employers have hired a worker age 50 or older for a permanent position within their organization over the last six months.”

Of those mature workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and found another job, 26 percent took a job in another field with the vast majority (75 percent) reporting that they are enjoying the experience. In terms of compensation, 40 percent landed positions with similar pay and another 13 percent found jobs with a higher compensation rate than what they were previously earning. Forty-eight percent took a pay cut.

Postponing Retirement

In addition to applications received by mature job candidates, employers are also receiving requests from staff members to stay with the company longer. One-in-five employers (21 percent) reported, over the last six months, current employees approaching retirement age have asked them to postpone their retirement. Of that 21 percent, the vast majority (86 percent) said their organizations are open to postponing retirements, pointing to the following benefits:

■ Employers want to hold on to their intellectual capital (65 percent)
■ Mature workers can help train and mentor others (61 percent)
■ Mature workers know how to weather a tough economy (42 percent)
■ Employers have more time to transition responsibilities (36 percent)

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