• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Older workers in hot demand

Analog

Lifer
Jan 7, 2002
12,755
1
0

To his younger coworkers, Robert Hobbs is old school: He wears suits to meetings, rarely calls in sick and works long hours with little complaint.

Hobbs? new employer, Fifth Third Bank, would call him a godsend. At 58, Hobbs has more than 30 years of banking experience, business savvy and the people skills the bank needs at its new Farmington Hills branch.

Like Hobbs, many workers over 50 find themselves in demand as some younger people struggle to shed the slacker label.

From Kelly Services to Farmer Jack to Home Depot, companies are turning to the gray-haired set to add maturity, leadership and sterling office habits to their work force.

The 65 and older age group is the only one growing in Michigan, a state where overall employment has fallen over the past three years, said Karen Kosniewski, president of Operation ABLE of Michigan, a Southfield nonprofit organization that offers job training for mid-career and older workers.

Farmer Jack looks to mature workers because they tend to prefer part-time work, a backbone of the grocery industry, said Maria Ward, spokeswoman for the Detroit chain.

?We find they bring stability to the work force. They come with a good attitude, and they?re a good influence on younger workers,? Ward said.

Home Depot, the home improvement warehouse chain, teamed up with last month with AARP ? formerly the American Association of Retired Persons ? to create a national hiring partnership aimed at attracting older workers. These employees are ideal for retailers because they are less likely to hop from job to job, said company spokeswoman Goldie Taylor. They also relate well to Home Depot?s customer base, which includes many longtime homeowners upgrading their dwellings.

Companies go to great lengths to hold onto older workers. CVS Corp. will find temporary jobs in its Florida stores for those workers who migrate south in the winter.

Younger workers, on the other hand, sometimes feel squeezed out of the tight job market these days. In fact, a growing number of reverse age discrimination complaints have been filed by workers in their 20s and 30s.

Last month, however, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a law barring employers from discriminating against workers over 40 doesn?t apply to younger employees.

At Fifth Third, Hobbs is surrounded by younger coworkers. As a baby boomer, Hobbs said he has noticed their habits. Whereas Hobbs drags himself in when he has a cold, they tend to take the day off. But Hobbs admits he probably should do the same.

?I?ve got sons older than him,? Hobbs said of his 24-year-old senior office manager. ?But I?ve enjoyed working with him and helping him along. I feel like a mentor.?

That?s not to say Generation X or the Millennials ? workers between ages 16 and 39 ? are less than capable, said Cam Marston, a business consultant in Charlotte, N.C., who specializes in age-related work issues.

There?s some concern, though, that this pool of knowledge could run short. Baby boomers ? those born between 1945 and 1964 ? are starting to retire, taking their knowledge with them. And demographers say there are not enough younger workers to take their place, leaving a potential gap between the number of positions and the workers available.

By the year 2010, 17 percent of the nation?s work force will be adults ages 55 and older, up from 13 percent in 2000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. By 2050, that number will increase to 19 percent.

During this same time period, younger workers between 25 and 54 are expected to decline from 71 percent of the work force in 2000 to 67 percent in 2010 and 65 percent in 2050.

Of Michigan?s 9.9 million residents, 27 percent are more than 50 years old, according to the 2000 Census.

The numbers have driven employers to seek out older workers. Kelly Services, a Troy-based staffing provider, considers mature workers a key growth strategy, said Senior Vice President George Corona.

?They?ve got greater skills, fewer commitments and flexible schedules, so they?re great for our customers,? Corona said.

About 14 percent of Kelly?s temporary employees are over age 55. Demand for mature employees is highest in fields like engineering, finance, health care and information technology, Corona said.

Bill Ault, 57, of Farmington Hills is a former Ford Motor Co. information technology manager who retired from the automaker in 2002, but wasn?t ready to stop working altogether. Despite the trend in the United States of outsourcing IT work to other countries, Ault landed a job with Ajilon Consulting.

?I don?t think I was hired because of my age, but certainly my company values diversity in its work force and values my experience,? he said.

Job fairs and Web sites devoted to older employees are another way for older workers to find a second career. Kelly is one of 30 companies planning to attend Operation Able?s ?Ability is Ageless? job fair March 31 in Southfield. Last year, more than 1,500 people attended the fair.

Hobbs found his job as a banking center manager for Fifth Third by networking. He had retired at 53, but found his personality ill-suited to leisurely rounds of golf. He has worked at the Ohio-based banking chain for about a year now, logging 45-hour work weeks.

A third of Fifth Third?s eastern Michigan employees are more than 40 years old, said Stacy Byers, Fifth Third?s Senior Vice President of Human Resources.

?Older workers bring skills, maturity and judgment that are valuable competencies, especially in the banking industry,? Byers said.

This trend may create new problems even as it solves employee shortages. Four generations are now collaborating in the workplace, which sometimes results in poor communication between coworkers. For example, baby boomers tend to believe in strict lines between managers and subordinates while Generation X wants everyone to be friends, studies have shown.

?Five or six years ago, (generational consulting) was looked at as a novel concept,? Marston said. ?Now, companies are realizing it?s an acute problem and they need to listen.?


Text
 

Shockwave

Banned
Sep 16, 2000
9,059
0
0
Kind of a funny thing.... In the 35 or 40 years my grandfather worked he never once, not ONCE in all that time called in sick. I blew past his record my first 3 months of work.
 

hans007

Lifer
Feb 1, 2000
20,211
8
81
i must be old school. i'm 23 and i do a great job, and i bust my ass. i dont call in sick ever. i once came in with the flu, and was sent home. thats probably as close as it gets. i mean i get paid hourly who wants to miss out on money.
 

gittyup

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2000
5,036
0
0
Interesting. From what I see, the older people I work with seem to be b!tching about a lot of things in the work place.
 

compuwiz1

Admin Emeritus Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
27,035
838
126
Slackers? Yep, GenX is definitely that. I've managed, hired and fired lot's of people over the years. Most reliable are the baby boomers. It seems like about half the GenX people I've worked with over the years, call in sick more, show up late, then don't get much work done while they are there. Heck, some of them even clock in, then go have lunch, smoke, and ultimately report to duty, only to be found asleep in front of their computer about a half hour later. :Q
The difference between them and me, is when I was young, I could party, then give the boss a full day's work. Them young uns, can't do both. ;)
 

OS

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
15,582
1
76
Originally posted by: compuwiz1
Slackers? Yep, GenX is definitely that. I've managed, hired and fired lot's of people over the years. Most reliable are the baby boomers. It seems like about half the GenX people I've worked with over the years, call in sick more, show up late, then don't get much work done while they are there. Heck, some of them even clock in, then go have lunch, smoke, and ultimately report to duty, only to be found asleep in front of their computer about a half hour later. :Q
The difference between them and me, is when I was young, I could party, then give the boss a full day's work. Them young uns, can't do both. ;)
I think it's Gen Y now. :p

I really hate to say this but there's a lot of truth to that. I worked in an office where half the people were young. Of that group, god damn half of those people were lazy ass mutherphukkers. The company is paying some of those people to come in, take long ass lunch and smoke breaks, browse the internet, and play video games all day long. Oh yeah, and then the same people in this group, they'd sit around all day talking about how they're going to buy BMW X5s and $1K LV purses and sh*t. Even worse is there was this one girl who would go around socializing with everyone and bothering people who were actually doing work. One time, she actually got mad at me because I told her I was in the middle of work and I needed to get something out.

There was so much more crap than that, but I can't sit around all day bitching about my old coworkers. :p

 

OS

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
15,582
1
76
oh one more, thing, if you're actually sick, I don't give a f*ck about your work ethic. Don't come in and give everyone in the office SARS lite or the bird flu or whatever. Some dumb f*ck at my last job was hacking his lungs out for a week and everyone who sat near him got it. That guy was a dumbass muthaphukker, he tried to sell a motherboard to someone in the middle east despite the fact the computer inventory system was telling him we hadn't carried that motherboard for years.
 

Svnla

Lifer
Nov 10, 2003
17,812
1,315
126
I don't know about other young ones but I bust my tail to get where I am now. I came to the US without any money and I mean it, nada, zit, nothing but cloth on my back. I went to HS and worked part time, then went to college and part time again. After I done with my BS, I worked full time for a Fortune 100 company, went to get my MBA part time. I never called in sick, took long lunch, or did any of the acts mentioned.

Not all mature workeers are dedicated hard workers and not all young ones are lazy bums. It will depend. Like we always said on ATOT....YMMV.
 

Geekbabe

Moderator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 16, 1999
31,526
1,151
126
www.theshoppinqueen.com
I don't see that trend at all,the push is on to present as youthful and dynamic apperance as you can possibly muster or your will find yourself out the door.
 

compuwiz1

Admin Emeritus Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
27,035
838
126
Svnla, you'll get no argument or critisism from me. I applaude you! The young man I have living near me is a prime example. Here is his profile:

Parents own a large contracting company, lot's of money there.

He's 25, but works at best buy.

Apparently parents pay his $1300 per month rent, because when I went to the office to complain about all the noise from his endless partying, the manager said.. "looks like I need to call his mom again".

His cars:

2002 Nissan Pathfinder
2003 Chevy Trailblazer
2004 VW GT something

He has a little white Poodle

Trust me, working at Best Buy does not pay for any of that.

I've tried to speak to the kid and the way he responds to adults, you'd almost think he doesn't speak english.

Oh, you can get a nod, or a " "sup" out of him, but an intelligent , interactive conversation is not happening.

That's kind of what I see at work too. Interviews are a joke. They come in dressed for socker, not for work.

What is the world coming to? Are these what our country will be run by in the future? :Q

On the contrary, my own son, who is now 24, who caused me alot of grief when he was younger, is now married, owns 2 homes, getting ready to have their first child, etc. He is a successful mortgage broker, who makes much more than his dad. What he always had, no matter what he did that made me unhappy, was drive, energy and good work ethic. :) He also dropped out of college....so noone in my family to date has ever graduated from college. It must not be formal education that makes a person, for I know some people who have none, but a wildly successful, yet I know some who are PHD's, but yet still working for $35k per year.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY