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Bridging the Labor Gap: Don’t Overlook Older Workers Part 1

If you ask the top executives at a construction firm about their biggest challenges, the skills trade gap is likely to be among the most common answers. Skilled trade workers are in high demand but in short supply industry-wide. But when it comes to combating the labor shortage in the construction industry, there are several hiring strategies for beating the labor shortage.

Currently, everyone is jumping on the millennial bandwagon these days. However, have you considered tapping into the talent pool of older, seasoned professionals? In this two-part article, our Orlando construction attorneys will discuss why construction companies should always consider hiring older workers. Read part two of our article to learn about training older workers and embracing a multigenerational workplace.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Many workers are retiring from the construction industry, but older workers that are still in search of employment are often being excluded (intentionally and unintentionally). According to AARP, many workers that are 50 years and older face brutal odds of landing a new opportunity if they lose their job. Once a job is lost, the foreboding thought of whether they will ever work again is a top concern. A Pew Research study reported that the unemployment rate is low for older workers overall but that the ones who lose their jobs have a long and arduous job search ahead of them.

Why Companies Overlook Older Workers

While there is a mass exodus of baby boomers leaving the construction industry due to retirement, construction companies should not place their eggs in one basket concerning millennials. Typically, companies may overlook older workers for these reasons:

  • They assume they are burned out and ready to stop working
  • They feel they do not understand nor want to embrace new technology
  • They feel they may miss work due to illness more often
  • They believe they will not work well with younger workers
  • They feel they are resistant to change
  • They think it is more expensive to employ an older worker

Why You Should Hire Older Workers

Employers have valid concerns about younger workers including their work ethic, communication skills, their tendency to job hop, and their work-life balance demands. While it is not true that all millennials lack communication skills or are job hoppers, these are the very reasons why an older worker may be more attractive. Often, older workers prove to be more reliable and dedicated to their employers. Older workers have decades of experience and can offer a higher level of experience and quality of work. They also score high in leadership and can serve as mentors to younger workers.

If you would like to speak with an Orlando construction attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.