6 Reasons You Should Consider a Candidate over 50 for Your SMB

January 17, 2014

While it may not be the most “trending” idea out there, when it comes to hiring for your small to medium business, there are wealth of reasons why you might consider hiring candidates who are over 50 years old.

“Age discrimination is rampant in this country,” says Martin Yate, a former recruiter and best selling author of Hiring the Best, “which is a little crazy when you consider the fact that most of the men and women who sit on the boards of corporations and lead our government are over 50.”

Here are a few good reasons, Yate says, that baby boomers may be a better choice for your SMB:

1. They’re likely to stick around longer

While the current trend is to hire younger, Millennials like to job hop more than older people, and will spend less two years on average per job, compared with someone over 50 who’s likely to remain in their job for over four years.

“If you’re operating an SMB, you are going to have to spend a lot more money replacing and training new people every couple of years, which can be very disruptive to meeting your deliverables,” says Yate.

2. They can help sell products and services to an older customers base

Unless you are selling products and services exclusively to people who are under 50, you may want to consider how having a baby boomer around can help you market your services more effectively to the older crowd.

“A company’s employee demographics should always match that of its customers,” Yate advises.

3. They already know what they’re good at and what they like doing

Unlike younger employees, who haven’t quite figured out exactly where their talents lie, an over 50 worker knows precisely what tasks they like doing and where their expertise can best be applied.

This self-awareness can help a hiring manager make a better fit when it comes to selecting a candidate. “In essence,” says Yate, “when you hire a baby boomer, you’re taking less of a gamble, because their skills and acumen have already been tested in the marketplace.”

4. They’ve already made their mistakes on someone else’s payroll

With decades of experience, the over 50 worker has already experienced his or her share of mishaps while working elsewhere, says Yate.

“As a hiring manager taking on an older candidate, you’re much less likely to suffer through the reckless employee who always comes into work late, or fails to exhibit the requisite professionalism required by their position,” says Yate.

5. They can serve as mentors

Once an older employee has earned your trust, you can use their wisdom and experience to help mentor younger workers, says Yate.

In the same way that younger employees can bring older employees up to speed on technology, the baby boomer can help bring emotional maturity and a conscientious attitude to the younger employees.

6. They are less likely to covet your job

Finally, with a lifetime of real world experience behind them, the over 50 worker is much more likely to have realistic expectations going into their job. “They won’t be expecting quick promotions, or the huge raises a younger experienced hotshot might expect,” offers Yate. “Nor will they be trying to takeover the company in the next three years.”

If you’re looking to expand your small to medium business, taking on several people in the over 50 demographic may get you there faster, and at a more steady rate of growth for the long haul.