Rehiring retirees.

With technology and healthier living helping people live longer – and baby boomers redefining what it means to be old – a lot of companies are giving another look at whether it still makes sense to force employees to retire. And some successful enterprises are even taking advantage of the experience older workers offer to give them an edge.


“High-performance organizations must select and retain experienced workers in leadership roles,” says Conference Board of Canada President, Anne Golden. “These people are the custodians of corporate memory and can mentor the next generation of workers.”

In fact, a slew of companies are helping to reverse the trend to retire workers with clever programs and policies to lure back seniors:

· Home Depot now offers a snowbird program that transfers employees to southern US locations during the winter.

· Another major retailer, 20% of whose workforce is over 50, is considering a similar plan and has even begun to make changes to its corporate culture, like using larger print for its corporate communications.

· The City of Calgary has a new internal employment agency to hire retirees to work on short-term assignments.

Besides the added experience and knowledge that mature workers provide, some companies have noticed other benefits. For instance, Avis Rent-a-Car found that its rental cars were less likely to be damaged by its retired part-time car shuttlers.

A survey on how to respond to an aging workforce, outlined here, offers five key ways to entice retirees to join your team:

1. Respect: Ensure your company offers a culture that values, recognizes and respects mature workers.

2. Flexibility: Create an age-friendly organization through flexible work schedules and hours, policies and practices free of age bias.

3. Learning: Promote continued development by offering training programs, access to new technology and opportunities for promotion.

4. Mentoring: Design jobs that are challenging and meaningful and create new roles for mature employees like mentoring.

5. Compensation: Develop innovative approaches to compensate mature employees, including offering incentives for them to return and remain at your company.

For additional insights and information into hiring retirees, visit the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada website.

Have you hired retirees or mature workers? We’re interested in hearing about your experience.

By Adam

August 03, 2010