In Singapore, there are a lot of initiatives by the labour unions and government to support seniors and retirees in the workforce. For Singaporean residents between 55 and 64, 58.8% are employed full time and 8.3% are employed part-time in 2017. Among OECD countries, full-time employment in this age group ranks 9th but part-time ranks 23rd. Whether it is full-time or part-time employment, employers are realising that they can also benefit from hiring seniors and retirees in various ways.
- Seniors who have been with an organization for a long time retain a better understanding of the organization’s culture and history. Such institutional experience includes skills unique to the industry and knowledge about how things work that cannot be easily replaced. While older worker may lack the technical skills younger workers may bring to the table, they can help mentor and compliment younger workers by their maturity and experience.
- With many years of experience under their belt, older workers are known for understanding how organizational politics work. As better communicators and perhaps lacking the unfettered ambitions of younger workers, they can be instrumental in maintaining workplace harmony and efficiency – older workers are generally more mature and are less rattled. That is a win-win for everyone and can help increase the organization’s productivity.
- The Baby Boomer ageing generation of workers have gone through unprecedented changes in the careers where new technology like the internet and robotics has caused great disruptions to their work lives. The old adage argues that “what does not kill you only makes you stronger”, this generation of seniors are likely to be tough, adaptable and flexible. That is what every employer wants!
- While many retirees may not want to work full-time, this group of workers can contribute in other ways. For companies who need expertise for short term projects, seniors with extensive experience can be a good match and cost much less than hiring consultants. Companies can benefit from this talent pool for short term assignments and peak workloads – and this may be just fine for the retirees who would find this type of work ideal.
- In Singapore, hiring seniors and retirees can also save the company money. The government has numerous schemes to give subsidies and tax credits to companies who hire seniors. When companies need to retrain senior workers, there are also various schemes that subsidises most of the training costs. In summary, a company can actually reduce their labour cost by adopting a human resource strategy to hire seniors in Singapore.