Maxwell Stephens

Senior Employees – The Future of Successful Recruitment and Retention Practices

Employee retention has taken a new angle in Britain. The British Government has suggested that companies should retain employees until the age of 70, as statistics foresee a severe shortage of available workforce in the near future, especially as the government is restricting immigration. It is estimated that in next 10 years there will be approximately 13.5 million job vacancies, with only 7 million young people, college and University graduates, available for the jobs.

The ministers are warning the organisations to keep their senior employees, or they may face a looming shortage of qualified staff. This also encourages staff to remain in their jobs until the age of 70, as the employers no longer have the right to impose their retirement.


The government officials clearly state that this is not a forceful arrangement, but rather an opportunity for the senior employees to remain in work if desired. This new suggestion is definitely not a ‘work until you drop’ directive. The ministers present it as an opportunity for the older generation and a benefit for their income and overall well-being.


According to Steve Webb, who is the Pensions Minister, the older workers are “the untapped resource of an organisation”. He believes that organisations should encourage their senior employees to remain in employment, and even recruit older employees, as the benefits are great. Not only do older employees possess a great palette of skills and experience, but they can participate in training and mentoring new recruits. Their knowledge and board experience can help to guide the younger employees towards the growth and success of the organisation.


The Pensions Department has published a new guide for employers, which advises them to hire and retain older workers and build a “multi-generational workforce” that can benefit from the experience and hard work of the senior generation. The statistics state that currently 27% of the workforce is over the age of 50, and this is going to rise constantly, expected to reach 1/3 by 2020.


The government encourages organisations to consider the fact that the senior generation living in the country is increasing, as opposed to migrants that live in other countries. Research states that most of the older employees remained as productive as they used to be when they were young, at least until the age of 70, which once again reinforces the benefits of employing senior staff.


The guide warns that a failure to change the recruitment and retaining practices for older employees will lead to acute shortage of skills, and risk age discrimination claims in the future.


The retaining of older employees also results in reduced staff turnover and a better morale. Many big brands, such as McDonald’s, encourage senior employment and report that their outlets are performing better when serviced by a mixed workforce of young and senior employees.


Mr Webb goes on to tackle another issue on the topic, such as the idea that this new directive could affect employment opportunities for the young generation. He confirms that there is no evidence suggesting that older people are taking the jobs away from the fresh graduates. He believes that hiring older people does not mean that the young generation is ignored; it just means that with this practice a company gets both the experience and the energy in a single team of efficient employees.


Research suggests that most employers believe that older employees are an asset to the company yet never seem to put it in practice, and there are barely any recruits over the age of 50. The Pensions guide suggests that the organisations should offer jobs to anybody who qualifies for the role despite their age. The time has come for Britain to change the corporate culture and enhance the opportunities for senior and highly experienced professionals, who wish to remain in employment until the age of 70.


Peter Forshaw, Managing Director, Maxwell Stephens

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