Why Employers Should Hire More People Over the Age of 50

It's time to demolish the myths surrounding age and to give better job opportunities to people over 50 years of age. This is because they're worthy and possess great potential, as well as the added value of experience.
Why Employers Should Hire More People Over the Age of 50
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

It’s extremely common today to talk about gender prejudice, racial discrimination, and the difficulties of young people accessing the labor market. However, age bias is another serious problem In fact, many companies are reluctant to hire people over the age of 50. Indeed, it’s as if they’re no longer valid.

As a matter of fact, managers who hire staff tend to follow stereotypes regarding this particular segment of the population. They conceive them as conservative and unskillful with new technologies. Furthermore, when viewing their profiles, they place great value on the fact that sooner or later they’re more likely to end up requesting leave. Alternatively, they take it for granted that they won’t be willing to travel.

This means that 55-65-year-olds tend to experience a great deal of difficulty in finding jobs. In addition, seeing how society has suddenly started to reject them tends to have a serious impact on them at all levels: economic, social, and psychological.

The false myths associated with employees over 50 must be banished. Indeed, these people have as much potential as the younger generation. In addition, they have the added value of experience.

oriental man to represent people over 50

Why employers should hire more people over the age of 50

Young and not so young… everyone deserves job opportunities. Furthermore, everyone has the right to have their profile reviewed in such a way that’s free from prejudicial attitudes.

Unfortunately, the reality is different. Indeed, many companies simply don’t hire people over 50 years old. Wayne State University in Detroit conducted research in this regard.

The study concluded that the perception of older workers is extremely heterogeneous. For example, if people are asked individually about them, they won’t hesitate to describe them in positive terms. However, in selection processes, discrimination is more than frequent. In fact, age-related biases reinforce ideas such as slowness, low creativity, or resistance to change.

It’s important to reformulate these ideas. Because hiring people over 50 is often a practice that greatly improves the health (not only financially) of companies. Furthermore, the vast majority of people in this situation don’t have outdated knowledge. As a matter of fact, they’re men and women with great potential and much to offer in any work or professional setting.

As an example, in the world of computing, although it moves at a dizzying rate, it’s still necessary to adapt many of the old systems to current technologies. For instance, systems that may be based on languages that current students no longer study. In these cases, the value that older people in the sector have is incalculable.

If there’s one thing that an innovative company needs, it’s talented employees. Nothing more. This means that age, gender or race simply don’t matter as long as the individual is suited to the position.

Loyal and stable workers

People aged 50 plus tend to have long-established lives. Therefore, they’re unlikely to leave and go to another company or move to another province or country. In addition, they tend to stand out for their commitment and responsibility. Experience also makes them much more adept at setting deadlines and anticipating possible problems.

Experience, a good way to avoid mistakes

We all know that times change and reality is so frenzied and fickle that we have to be prepared for any circumstance. This is something older people know all too well. For this reason, their experience allows them to be more accurate in identifying critical points. In fact, they’re able to use their own background to conclude that perhaps it’s time to change the course of a project or put it on hold for the moment.

Therefore, their perspectives, approaches, and knowledge are all extremely valuable. Consequently, they’re able to enrich the team in any kind of work scenario.

Collaboration. They’ve learned to get along with people

Hiring people over 50 has a distinct advantage: they know how to handle and treat people. They possess good communication skills and are able to reach agreements, give positive and encouraging feedback to colleagues, and contribute to the balance of teams. Furthermore, they ask for help when they need it and don’t hesitate to freely offer the same to others.

They possess problem-solving skills

Problem-solving is a trait of intelligence that not everyone possesses However, people over 50  tend to be highly effective at it. They’ll research, analyze, gather information, and weigh up options. Then, they’ll compare them to their own experiences, and make highly effective plans.

On average, older people possess good critical thinking. This allows them to make decisions and solve problems, going beyond what’s established, to bring that needed innovation in their work.

They’re great mentors with positive attitudes

All work is undoubtedly enriched when several generations are oriented toward the same goal. Millennials and baby boomers, for example, now constitute the most important workforces in our society. Both contribute to our progress and are able to give their best to complex and demanding situations.

Likewise, those over 50 can be great mentors for younger workers. Their positive attitude and experience offer a wealth of knowledge that’s well worth drawing on.

woman smiling to symbolize people over 50

People over 50 are the perfect age

Being over 50 shouldn’t rule out anyone who’s qualified for a job. In fact, their age means that they combine professionalism with vitality, experience with the desire for projection, and responsibility with creativity. Employers should learn to take advantage of these facts.

Every company that wants to establish itself in the market needs talented personnel. This dimension can be present in a person of 18, 25, 45, and even 65.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bal AC, Reiss AE, Rudolph CW, Baltes BB. Examining positive and negative perceptions of older workers: a meta-analysis. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2011 Nov;66(6):687-98. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbr056. Epub 2011 Jun 30. PMID: 21719634.
  • Furunes T, Mykletun RJ. Age discrimination in the workplace: validation of the Nordic Age Discrimination Scale (NADS). Scand J Psychol. 2010 Feb;51(1):23-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2009.00738.x. Epub 2009 Aug 18. PMID: 19694986.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.