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Hiring older workers

Andrew Fung, general manager, TAFEP, Singapore (Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices) (the organisation promotes the adoption of fair, responsible and merit-based employment practices among employers, employees and the general public) shares his thoughts:

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How age-friendly is your workforce?

This picture is from the McDonald’s recent Career Day where the company was seeking to hire 600 seniors for its restaurants.

How age-friendly is your workplace? Almost certainly, most HR managers will respond with answers about compliance with laws and regulations. But we believe there’s a broader issue that needs to be addressed and it relates to the way the workplace adapts to the physiological ageing of its workers.

One can argue about the balance of risks and opportunities that the ageing of the workforce presents, but the truth is that in the developed world the median age of workers will be increasing for the foreseeable future.

On the positive side, McDonald’s found that customer satisfaction levels were higher in outlets that employed kitchen staff and managers aged over 60, while B&Q (the UK’s biggest DIY chain) found that older store workers have better empathy with their customers.

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