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experienceThe recruitment of older workers is the secret strategy for many successful companies. They are in tune with a dynamic change that is taking place in the workforce as eighty million skilled and experienced baby-boomers (those born between 1946-1964) reach retirement age. We are losing 4 million experienced workers who have amazing specific skill sets, networks of professional contacts and a wide array of knowledge of business and organizations each year. This huge wave of departing older workers will increase the existing skill gap. Some companies, being aware of this, are taking advantage and actively setting up policies for the recruitment of older workers and this strategy is proving to be quite successful.

While recently attending the Montreal Start Up fest, a great event and a great turn out with 3400 attendees, one of the most successful arenas at the event is the “grandmother judges”;where start ups pitch their ideas to 6 grandmothers. This is said to be the hardest and most difficult panel to impress and also the most valuable. Not only does this generation have an impact on the success of products given their increasingly large demographic but their wealth of experience provides great advice and perspective.

There are many examples of companies that are harnessing the power of the older generation to help increase their bottom line:

Visiting your local Home Depot you will see older workers on the front line helping customers. At Home Depot these workers are encouraged to apply their life-long experiences in home ownership and do it yourself projects to help in their retail role. In fact, according to Stephen Holmes, a Home Depot spokesman (MSN Money, 4/9/2013) Older workers are among the most reliable and are the ones that customers often gravitate towards.



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