Considering Older Workers For Your Team


(By Laurie Kahn) Are a high percentage of your sellers Boomers? If so, many may be looking to retire soon. Statistics show that 10,000 Boomers turn 65 every day until 2029. For many staffs this is going to mean that a complete turnover is necessary, which is extremely hard to do with the low unemployment that many industries are facing today.

Don’t panic, there are solutions.

First of all, realize that people are healthier longer, so while the age of 65 sticks out as retirement for many, for others it is not an option and there are many who plan to work well past 65. If they can find a job. Sadly, many 50+ workers share that they cannot even get a call back from a potential employer once they see their work history. Look at the person. Examine their energy, their list of contacts, who they know and how they can open doors for you. Stop discounting workers for being over 50.

We all have seen examples of smart, personable, professionals who are over 50, even over 60 and 70! They may be in great shape and love what they do. Maybe they got hit in the last recession and must work to cover their financial needs. There is no reason they should not be considered for open opportunities. They have a lot of knowledge and can open doors that an entry-level person may not be able to handle.

We have long seen “job shares” in the workplace. While they are traditionally two moms sharing a list, there is no reason that a job share can not be a veteran seller teamed with a recent graduate, they can both learn from each other.

Consider offering part-time positions for sales. Maybe that senior seller would like a few days off per week — why not? Having several part-time sellers will more than likely result in having higher revenue than with fewer full-time sellers.

With modern technology, there is no reason that a seller needs to be in the office or even in the market all the time. We have seen many examples of remote sellers able to successfully handle a list. By offering more flexibility, you will increase the amount of people interested in joining your team. If allowing your senior seller to work from a warmer climate for a month a year, why not? You will be known as a great employer who cares about their staff!

Encourage those who are considering retirement to not take their social security at 62 and to keep working for a few more years. Show them what their nest egg can look like with a few more years of employment and by holding off on starting their social security will be much higher. Use your business manager or CPA to help make your case.

While all companies must strive for a diverse workplace, remind yourself and your management team, that for many, 65 is just an age and not a deterrent to their ability to do a job.

Laurie Kahn is the creator and founder of Media Staffing Network. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


  1. Laurie this is an excellent read. Bravo. I retired 20 years ago, from corporate radio after working for some of the best broadcasting companies (and broadcasters) of my era in 3 of the top five radio markets in the country. So, I can not even pretend to know what it’s like out there today. But, your take is excellent. The same cloud based technologies that allow me to have a staff-less FM operation here in Golden, Colorado, can truly be applied within the sales process within any sized group. Again, well done. What you’ve said…needed to be heard.

  2. Absolutely, ageism exists. I am about to turn 65, I haven’t been downsized yet — but I haven’t had a fulltime job since 2006 when the Smooth Jazz format died. I cannot find a job from LA to Chicago. All I have done is PT Traffic reporting…that’s it. I’ve essentially given up looking for another radio job.

  3. And what about programming? There are lots of old-timers around who can run circles around most of these youngsters. And with years of expertise in all kinds of formats, their experience can be invaluable. The sad part is, employers don’t consider seasoned veterans when they have an opening. Doesn’t help a lot to have good salespeople on the street if you don’t have competent people to get the message on the air, and, more importantly, to build an audience for those advertisers.

  4. Ageism exists. It is happening to me. The only job that I can get is a part time job in a retail store and it wasn’t easy to get that one. I’m chomping at the bit to get back into media sales after a long hiatus. I’m ready to go if someone wants to give me a shot. Please reply and I will email you my email address.

  5. Good point Laurie! I’m 65, in media and digital sales, and my clients keep talking about how I have the energy of someone half my age! I plan to retire…never. Well, at least not for 10 years. The trick is to love what you do, be passionate, stay as fit as you can, and most importantly be around active forward-thinking people who “think young” and are POSITIVE.
    Oh, and alcohol in the evening helps too!!!


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