Age Discrimination: 4 Reasons to Place Older Workers

Age is like the forgotten step-child of protected classes in employment law. Age discrimination doesn’t get the attention that racial and sexual discrimination get. Winning an age discrimination case is difficult for employees.

But while it may not be a well-publicized topic, older workers do appear to be “hitting a wall” when it comes to finding work. They tend to have much longer durations of unemployment. When they do get hired, they must endure deeper cuts in pay.

Age discrimination: lose-lose

However, this is a lose-lose proposition for both the workers AND employers. By passing over those 55 and older, employers miss out on a tremendous asset.

Here are four reasons that companies (and the recruiters who want to make more placements) should consider older workers:

#1—Incredible work ethic

Members of the Baby Boomer Generation are known for being extremely hardworking and dependable. They tend to define themselves by their professional achievements. They are loyal and committed to the workplace.

#2—Knowledge base

The years of experience and knowledge older workers possess are invaluable. Savvy companies have realized this and often use them in consulting and training capacities.

#3—”No strings attached

Unlike a worker in their 30s or early 40s, someone near retirement age is unlikely to be tied down by a young family. They are often more willing to travel and relocate. This makes them perfect contract candidates. In fact, many like to take contract assignments in different locations so they can explore new places while they work.


The myth is that those nearing retirement age are less productive because they are slower. According to Peter Cappelli, who directs the Wharton Center for Human Resources, older workers waste less time than younger workers and take fewer sick days. Their engagement is also higher, which leads to higher performance.

Wealth of star candidates

If you or your clients are overlooking this group of experienced workers, you could be missing out on a wealth of star candidates. This is particularly true if you are struggling to find quality contract candidates. Older workers make great contractors. Why? Because while they may want to remain active in the workforce, they are NOT interested in the “9-to-5 rat race.” They need and want flexibility.

Contracting allows them to take time off between assignments or work more flexible schedules. This is driving a trend known as retiree re-staffing. Some recruiting agencies are even concentrating specifically on finding contract assignments for retirees as demand from candidates increases.

By rejecting age discrimination and accepting older candidates, you can turn a lose-lose proposition into a win-win-win situation. Who wins? You, your candidates, and your clients.

Are YOU ready for contract staffing solutions or contract placement services?

Then download our Quick-Start Guide to Contract Staffing. Or request a demo with one of our contract staffing specialists.

You can can also call us at 888.627.3678. Start making contract placements and start making more money!

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