Struggling to recruit? Offering part-time work could help
Recent Office for National Statistics figures have shown that the number of over 50s working part-time has reached a record high. People are working longer and employers need to change any outdated views on work and retirement.
Offering part-time and flexible work can ensure you recruit and retain workers that currently make up one third of the UK’s workforce.
The statistics were analysed by Rest Less who are a digital community for the over 50s. They found that 42% of part-time workers in the UK are over 50.
Why make part-time working more available?
Demographic change over recent years means that the number of young people coming into the workplace will be less than the number that will be needed to replace those who have permanently left work. Working up to retirement and then suddenly stopping work is now uncommon. It is more likely that workers will want to transition into retirement which is far more beneficial to well-being. Making part-time work more available will ensure your business is not left with a skills shortage with employees retiring and taking their skills and experience with them.
What can you do?
There are a number of measures you could take while still ensuring you meet your business requirements:
Review your recruitment process
Does your recruitment process unintentionally exclude relevant talent by requiring unnecessary qualifications which could discriminate against older or younger applicants? Consider advertising vacancies with a minimum number of hours to widen your recruitment pool.
Do you consider applications for Flexible Working seriously enough? Granting flexible working requests and for example allowing an employee to reduce their hours can retain experienced staff.
Line manager training
Are your managers trained to deal with a diverse and multi-generational workforce? Many employees leave a company because of a poor or at worst discriminatory manager.
Access to training
Do you provide adequate training opportunities for your older workforce? All employees, regardless of age, should be encouraged to participate in training in order to keep their skills up to date, enabling progression and career development.
Review how you support ill-health
If a health problem is present, do you offer access to support such as occupational health advisors or counselling services if appropriate? Workers who have ill-health or caring responsibilities for example, may need to work shorter or different hours (either on a temporary or permanent basis) in order for them to do everything they need, whilst retaining their job.
Remember that while the ability to work flexibly or part-time will be important to some employees, others (including those over 50) may want to work full-time but can’t find a job. Ensuring your recruitment process is free of discrimination, including age discrimination, will ensure that all candidates have an equal opportunity.