Home Column Megan Moran: The benefits of hiring retirees

Megan Moran: The benefits of hiring retirees

Megan Moran

Unemployment rates in New York and throughout the country remain at historic lows, which is widely considered good news. However, with this trend, employers may struggle to find skilled workers for open positions. Retired employees who are open to returning to the workplace may offer a solution to this challenge and may also provide various benefits to an organization. 

Many may consider retirement a well-earned break from the daily workplace, with time to enjoy personal interests, such as traveling, hobbies or time with family. However, a growing number of workers are interested in exploring encore or second careers as they enter traditional retirement years. Given this shift, business leaders have an opportunity to capitalize on this trend and recruit these employees to join their companies. 

Organizations looking to hire employees for part-time positions may experience the most success with the recently retired. A 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that approximately 27 percent of workers aged 55 and older were employed part time, while 18 percent of those aged 25 to 54 worked part-time. For individuals 65 and older, the percentage of part-time employment is even higher at 40 percent. 

Below are a few ways businesses may benefit by filling gaps in the workforce with skilled retirees.

Mentoring opportunities

Hiring seasoned workers with years of specialized experience can enhance the workplace in many ways. Younger or less-tenured employees can learn from their expertise, helping to address any skills or knowledge gaps in the workforce. Implementing training or mentoring opportunities with these experienced workers may also allow junior employees to get up to speed more quickly and make fewer mistakes.

Adding value 

People who have spent decades in the workplace typically know how to conduct themselves in a business setting. They have honed these skills during their careers and are often highly efficient. As a result, veteran employees may require less onboarding time and can start adding value to the company faster than some entry-level workers. They often possess good decision-making skills, developed through years of trial and error. They may also be more confident and comfortable when speaking with senior management, leveraging their own seniority to add persuasive power. 

Providing a different perspective 

Employees who have been in the workplace for many years often have different priorities than those starting their careers. Large salaries and growth plans may be the priority for younger workers, but retired or retiring employees may be looking to make a difference in other ways. Contributing to their employer’s philanthropic efforts, getting involved in volunteer opportunities or sharing insights with junior employees are just a few ways senior workers can achieve this. In turn, these pursuits can enhance the company’s public image and social impact, as well as drive success and growth.

Bringing varied experience 

Encore employees often bring varied talents and abilities, developed over years of training and unique experiences. This diverse skill set may allow them to hold a flexible role within a company and assist in a number of areas. To take advantage of this, employers should evaluate available positions and identify opportunities where skills, expertise and passion can be matched successfully. 

Businesses may also consider having these employees split time between a professional role, based upon previous experience, and a position that helps drive the company’s social impact or philanthropic efforts. As a result, this type of role could also help fulfill the employee’s desire to contribute more widely.

Recent trends have shown that more retirees than ever are interested in pursuing a second career or re-entering the workforce. With a rising number of companies struggling to identify quality candidates, this provides the chance to consider and hire highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced employees. 

Megan Moran is a senior human resource specialist with Insperity, an adviser to America’s businesses for more than 32 years. The company provides an array of human resources and business services designed to help improve business performance. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit insperity.com. 

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  1. Megan, enjoyed your article. Wish more employers would listen to your message.

    I am the Director of a non-profit named USE (Utilize Senior Energy). We are a, no-fee. non-profit employment referral service that matches seniors (50+) with businesses or households willing to hire seniors. We service Greenwich (CT) and the surrounding communities.

    I originally read your article in the Westchester & Fairfield County BUSINESS JOURNALS.

    Best wishes.


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