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Using Older Employees

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 14 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Using Older Employees

When starting your electrical repair business do not dismiss the idea of taking on older employees. Apart from it now being illegal to discriminate against older employees they have a lot to offer your business.

Staff Loyalty

Older employees would have had many years of being in the workplace. They will know how to react with other staff and be loyal to the employees. Knowing how hard it is to obtain work once they reach the age of forty five and older employees will value their job and discuss any problems about their employment rather than walk out or resign.

Older employees maybe more likely to apply for part time work as they have other interests to pursue and may also have a pension from their previous workplace. However older workers can recognise that their contribution to the business is needed and be available to cover for other staff when they are on holiday or off sick.

Putting Customers at Ease

When customers come into the shop or telephone the workshop they will feel more at home talking to an older employee, they are approachable and friendly plus they have years of experience in their trade. Older customers can feel intimidated by young people and this could affect your business.

Ageism Employment Laws

Employment laws now state it is illegal to turn down a person for a vacancy because of their age in much the same way that we cannot turn down someone because of their sex or race. This can cause problems in all three cases where someone is refused a job because they are not suitable and they then accuse employers of racism, sexism or ageism. If you feel you could be accused of discrimination or are nervous about interviewing candidates for employment in your business ask someone to sit in on the interview with you. You could also use an employment agency to supply a short list of suitable candidates for your final selection.

Lifting and Heights

Never assume that an older employee cannot carry out a task because he or she is too old. Let them tell you what they can do or can’t do. Even younger people are not all capable of working with heavy items or up ladders.

Skills and Experience

Many older employees will have knowledge of electrical items that younger staff has never seen. They will be used to repairing items down to component level rather than replacing panels or exchanging parts with the manufacturer as is the norm these days. They will also have customers that will follow them from other businesses because of their skill which will be a boon to your own electrical company. You will also find that other staff naturally gravitate to the older staff for advice and guidance and that there will be a more peaceful environment for others in your employment as older people are no longer so competitive for promotion.

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