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What’s More Important Than Experience?

For older workers, stability may trump experience

When most people talk about the benefits of hiring mature workers, typically the first word that comes up is experience. That’s understandable. When you consider all the benefits that older workers bring to the table, experience may very well be the 600-pound gorilla in the room.

And that’s OK. But there’s more.

We could wax eloquently about some of the many benefits of hiring older workers, but maybe it’s time we focused on some of the stronger points.

For instance, stability. On the job or on your own, you probably won’t need a sociological study to demonstrate that older adults are more stable than the young. Think back to your own days as a youthful firebrand and then try to tell yourself that you were just as stable then as you are now. Fat chance.

This is no pie-in-the-sky theory. There is verifiable data and empirical evidence to support this premise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as age increases so does tenure. The BLS states that older workers tend to remain with employers twice as long as workers between the ages of 25 and 35.

In addition, the National Association of Working Women reports that mature men and women have an 88 percent lower turnover rate than younger workers. And that’s very good news for employers everywhere – especially when one considers the ever-rising cost to replace employees who have exited the company.

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) has found that for an average manager making just $40,000 a year, the cost to recruit and train the replacement ranges between $20,000–$30,000. That’s between 50 and 75 percent of the person’s salary. And, the cost goes up as the individual’s level and salary increases. Note that the cost to replace the average CEO can be as high as 213 percent of the predecessor’s salary.

Despite the fact that everyone wants to advance and move up the ladder, many employers place a high value on staying put.


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