By Lyndsey Hall
With the ongoing war for high-performing talent, diversity has become a strategic business priority. Large corporations are making efforts to have more diverse management boards and more businesses are engaging in gender pay gap reporting. However, creating a diverse workforce is about more than gender, race or socio-economic inclusion (although these areas are, of course, very important).
Creating a truly diverse workforce also means making an effort to encourage age diversity in recruitment and promotion decisions.
What are the benefits of a diverse workforce?
When combined with inclusion, diversity is now seen to have a significant positive impact on innovation and the “bottom line”, so as well as being socially important, it also has a commercial impact on an organisation.
As individuals live longer, their careers can now extend beyond traditional retirement age. Businesses may find that they have a team of people whose age range might spread across five or six decades. In such a scenario, a firm would have the opportunity to tap into experiences and ideas from Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Y.
Not only does this provide innovative new ideas for the firm, it also gives employees from different generations the opportunity to learn from each other. From a customer’s perspective, your clients can benefit from a greater depth of experience across your company, which could result in better customer service.
How can I build an age diverse workforce?
In order to create a more age diverse workforce, businesses need to encourage their hiring managers to make better choices. Ensuring that the people in your firm who make hiring decisions have some training around unconscious bias can be helpful.
It is also a good idea to set out your objectives as a firm, agree the experience that is required from your new recruits in order to meet those objectives and then build your recruitment strategy around those needs. Perhaps newer graduates will have fresh academic skills that could be of value to the firm where older employees have many more years of relevant experience. Choosing to hire a more diverse group of people to work in your firm will give your business access to a larger knowledge base and this can only be a good thing.
Does your business employ a wide range of ages and experience levels? Have you seen the benefits of an age diverse workforce? We’d love to hear from you, leave a comment below or head to our Twitter or Linkedin page to join the conversation.