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Appeal to 50+ staff with tailored benefits, relevant messages

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Organizations that appeal most to employees age 50 and older make it a point to focus recruiting efforts on that group. And they stuff their benefits packages with perks that help older employees balance work with caregiving responsibilities.

Here are five best practices among AARP’s Best Employers for Workers Over 50 that your organization can adopt as it recruits experienced, mature workers.

1. Design recruiting materials so they appeal to older workers.
Include pictures of mature employees and messages like “Retirees welcome” on ads and web sites. Other ways to attract seasoned workers:

  • Tap community-based senior groups to find part-time workers and temps.
  • Partner with senior-specific recruiting sites like
  • Build databases of retired employees and community members who can fill in as needed or work on projects as they’re available.

2. Offer on-the-job training and opportunities for education. Don’t write anyone off as too close to retirement to learn something new. Most older workers are as interested in acquiring computer skills and keeping up with changes in their fields as younger employees. Some strategies:

  • Develop computer classes specifically for older workers, who might need more time to learn the technology than young employees who grew up with it.
  • Schedule workshops on retirement planning to help workers prepare to leave or change careers.
  • Tap experienced workers as trainers so they can pass their knowledge on to younger colleagues.
  • Offer refresher courses to older recruits who are re-entering the workforce after brief retirements.

3. Allow phased retirement to older workers who want to work reduced hours for a few years before retiring. This might involve working:

  • Part time instead of full time
  • Flexible hours or job-sharing
  • Occasionally on special projects after retirement
  • Full or part time if they decide retirement isn’t for them

4. Build in caregiving flexibility. Mature workers often care for children or grandchildren and aging parents. More organizations are offering elder care benefits, plus:

  • Time off to care for family
  • Workshops and seminars on elder care issues
  • Access to elder care counselors who can help make arrangements for parents’ care
  • Emergency backup care for times when an employee cannot miss work to care for a sick or injured loved one

5. Keep in touch with retired employees by forming retiree associations and by sending them newsletters and invitations to company events. Other ways to stay connected:

  • Give retirees continued access to the organization’s intranet.
  • Frequently ask retirees whether they’re interested in taking on temporary assignments.
  • Allow retirees to visit the company fitness center and cafeteria.

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