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How Long is Your Runway?

Mature job seekers offer major benefits to employers

➔ There is an article in our “Trending Now” section today from that states: “Find Employees Who Stay for the Long Haul.” Admittedly the article is targeted primarily at employers, but the message should be music to the ears of mature job seekers.

Have a seat. Set a spell.

There are numerous benefits that mature job seekers bring to the employment table. Any number of surveys and studies talk about how older workers are more reliable, dependable, dedicated, etc., etc. Among those positives is one that should ring loud and true for any employer.

Older people are significantly more likely to stay with an employer than any young upstart. Really? Yes. Mature men and women have an 88 percent lower turnover rate than younger workers. So says the National Association of Working Women. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the older the worker, the more likely they are stay with an employer. BLS adds that the average tenure with an employer for workers age 28-35 is 2.8 years.

Why should the employer care? Longer tenured employees are good for business. According to the Center for American Progress, high turnover, low paying jobs (under $30K/year) cost 16 percent of their annual salaries to replace.

And it gets more expensive the higher up the ladder you go. The Society of Human Resource Management reports that to replace a mid-level manager, the cost is $8,000. The cost to replace executive positions can run as high as 213 percent of their annual salary.

But it’s not just about money. According to the financial-services trade group LIMRA, 80 percent of employers say that when older workers leave, their companies lose experience, institutional knowledge and leadership.

And don’t fall for that old 65-and-done malarkey. In the 21st Century, employees are staying on the job longer and longer. Groups such as AARP, NPR, U.S. News & World Report and others report that 75 percent of all workers plan to work well past retirement age.

So there you have it. Not only are older workers (such as yourself) better employees, they are that much more likely to stay on the job and hold the employer’s personnel replacement costs.


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