Jobs for seniors

Kai Ryssdal Sep 15, 2006


KAI RYSSDAL: Once upon a time 65-year-olds had to plan where to retire not when. But we’ve all heard seniors are working longer than expected. It can be tricky to find a job later in life but according to one recent survey 80% of employers found older candidates more attractive than younger ones. Tim Driver founded a senior’s career website. It’s called Tim how many seniors do you think there are out there actually looking for work online?

TIM DRIVER: Five years ago you probably could not have started a business like this one because there were not sufficient numbers of this demographic online. It also used to be that you would not have used the words retirement and job in the same sentence. Now that’s all changed and “retirement jobs” is really an everyday expression.

RYSSDAL: What are they telling you that they’re looking for in a retirement job?

DRIVER: Well at the top of the list people nowadays as they enter so-called retirement age are looking to rewire not retire. And we’ve done a lot of research and surveying of our audience base and found out that they’re really looking to give back, help younger generations and stay, remain in the workforce in some way.

RYSSDAL: Alright. So my mom decides that she wants to go back to work just to keep herself busy a little bit. Doesn’t want to work full-time, wants a little bit of flexibility — a couple of days a week, you know, whatever. She goes to presumably finds some postings there by companies right?

DRIVER: That’s right. We encourage people to search on their zip code first. And she would find listings in our database from companies that we’ve certified as being age-friendly.

RYSSDAL: And what does that mean, age-friendly?

DRIVER: Well part of our process is we go and survey and do follow-up interviews with the companies who have posted jobs in our database. And our goal is to make the experience a very rich one for the job seekers who want to go and find a culture and an employer that’s really supportive of workers over age 50. So we interview these companies along 10 or 12 different factors around things like their training, their recruiting, and at that point we know we’ve got a great match.

RYSSDAL: Now there are a good number of workers over the age of 50 who don’t necessarily want a retirement job, and I’ll put that in parenthesis, right? I mean they need full-time, full-pay, benefits, the whole shootin’ match. Can your companies deliver that too?

DRIVER: Well one of the things we’re doing as part of the age-friendly certification program at Retirement Jobs is we’re finding those companies that do have rich benefits programs for people over age 50 even if they’re taking a part time job. It really runs the gamut. People are looking for, as you point out, some of them full-time, some of them part-time jobs and they’re after these jobs for different reasons. Sometimes it’s fully about need. These people need income. Sometimes it’s about just pure desire to be engaged in society and to have a place to go everyday to meet people and just, you know, have fun on the job. And then more often than not it’s really a hybrid of those two.

RYSSDAL: Tim Driver is the founder of the website Tim thanks a lot for your time.

DRIVER: Thank you.

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