Why +50 candidates should not be written off

As of 2021, the new retirement age is 66,5 years old, according to the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment. It is anticipated that by 2040 the retirement age will be 70 and then only rise from there. Nonetheless, we see a tendency that +50 candidates are being discarded early on during the selection of candidates for managing positions which can leave unemployed candidates at 55 struggling for 11,5 years before they can retire. And it is not only +50 candidates who suffer from this discarding: It could be your company, too.

How many candidates are actually available to you?

The demographic distribution of age is changing as the baby boomers get older. Baby boomers were born from 1946 to 1964. This means that 39,4% of the Danish population in 2019 was above 50 years old, and the biggest percentage of any age group in Denmark was 50-54. If we cut +50 candidates out of our candidate pool, only 38,2 % of the population will be within the employment age (people from age 20 to 50). This number is even smaller if you are looking for candidates with university degrees or other specialised backgrounds.

What do +50 candidates offer?

+50 candidates within the service industry (the industry that does not require hard physical labour) are often in good shape and in good health. According to statistics, the average life expectancy has grown 5 years over the last 50 years and is still growing. This means that age, where you are ready for retirement constantly, gets pushed further as people are in good shape for longer – we currently live in a time where people above 50 are still eager to reach their full potential.

Change-oriented companies are constantly renewing their perspective of the world we live in and adjusting well to a fast-changing world. The best candidates you can hope for in times like these are people with a driven, flexible mindset and with an eagerness to learn and develop. Such qualifications have nothing to do with age and can well be found in +50 candidates. By including candidates above 50 in your selection pool, you get a better pick of the best people on the market during a war for talent! This can give your company a huge advantage.

Besides, +50 candidates bring with them a unique experience that can help your company reach new dimensions. And as retirement ages rise, you will be able to keep a candidate of 56 for 13 more years! These candidates are likely to stay within your company, whereas a candidate of 41 may explore other opportunities on the job market and leave way before they are 54.

How do +50 candidates affect your team?

Because +50 candidates can draw on vital experience when they problem solve, +50 candidates often handle complex tasks with a calm and clear head without being thrown off course by new challenges. Through social studies, we know that moods are contagious, meaning that the calm approach to stressful situations will likely transmit to the rest of the team. In addition, +50 candidates can add valuable knowledge gained through experience to most challenges and, therefore, function as great sparring partners to younger employees in the organisation. Where young candidates will be eager to establish a carrier for themselves, older candidates are often driven by the prospect of contributing and being of value to the team.

A war for talent

Studies show there is a new war for talent rising, and it is here to stay. As more and more people leave the job market and with fewer and fewer entering it over the next decade, companies are competing for the best candidates on the market. There will be too few people to fulfil the available positions. By considering candidates over 50, your company will be able to fulfil the available positions with talented and experienced candidates, meaning you will have a good chance at winning the war for talent – especially because +50 candidates are likely to stay within your company for a longer number of years.

Can +50 candidates be your saviour?

Studies show that never before has the need for flexibility and change been so present in large organisations as it is today. When swift change is made, it is crucial that it is based on talent and experience. +50 candidates can have both and should, therefore, not be written off as possible candidates early in the process. Due to new retirement ages, +50 candidates may well still have more than ten years left on the market. With increasingly fewer qualified candidates, +50 candidates offer a source of potential that is too precious to be overlooked. They can prove to be the thing that defines a make or break for your company over the next decade as the talent for war increases. When choosing your next employee for a leading position in your company, choose the one that is best for the job – regardless of their age – and see what wonders they can do for your company over the next decade.