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Older workers are far more likely to stay in their jobs than other generations

One thing that almost certainly keeps Human Relations personnel awake at night is the fear that the new person who they just hired will fly the coop within a few months or a year.

Their fear is well founded. The cost of replacing employees is huge. According to the Center for American Progress, the cost to replace a mid-level manager is close to $10,000, and to replace a $10-an-hour retail clerk, it costs the company nearly $4,000.

They had better get that new hire right. And you can help!

There is much research showing that older workers are far more likely to stay on the job than any other generation – not just millennials. Gallup reported 21 percent of millennials say they've changed jobs within the past year while the median tenure for workers over 55 is 10 years. The National Association of Working Women found that mature men and women have an 88 percent lower turnover rate than younger workers.

That can have an enormous impact on an employer – from how smoothly operations run to the high cost of replacement and training. Gallup estimates that millennial turnover alone costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.

And companies know this. That’s one reason why a typical interview question remains, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” For the older worker, the answer to that question is easy: “Right here!” In fact, it’s much more likely that the person asking that question is the one who won’t be here in five years.

Some college placement offices are even promoting this concept. New college graduates are being told not to stay in one job for more than 3-5 years. Their advice is no matter how things are going with that employer, after 3-5 years, it’s time to move on.

There are many advantages to hiring older workers and stability is one. It’s one of the most productive and one of the most cost effective reasons for the employer to hire the older worker.


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