If you’re over 50 and looking for a tech job, you’ve no doubt run into the brick wall of age discrimination. These days, HR managers and recruiters will couch it under terms like you’re overqualified or you lack the up-to-date computer skills.
Employment ads will try to screen you out with words like “high energy” and “fast paced.” You’ve tried in vain to get around these tactics by omitting early jobs from your resume and leaving off college graduation dates. You begin to ask yourself if there are there any employers left out there who value your experience, maturity and business savvy.
Take heart. The AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program thinks you have what it takes. Cosponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the program awards businesses and organizations that develop progressive policies and practices for today’s over-50 job seekers.
Companies Cover a Wide Spectrum
This year, the National Institutes of Health ranked number one in the 2013 winners at the SHRM national conference in Chicago. The list of 50 winners covers health care, universities, financial services, construction, aerospace, and federal and county government. The companies include such major players as Scripps Health, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, S&T Bank and Michelin North America. In a statement accompanying the list, AARP noted, that boomers "will be increasingly crucial to the success of the U.S. economy over the coming decade."
Program’s Pledge Hopes to Go Viral
A key AARP program goal seeks to share the best practices of these forward thinking employers with the general business community and to enhance employment opportunities for boomers. Many employers on the list have taken AARP’s Work Reimagined Pledge, which says they will recruit from the full spectrum of age groups and consider all applicants on an equal basis. The program’s selection criteria includes:
- Recruiting practices
- Opportunities for training, education and career development
- Workplace accommodations
- Flexible scheduling, job-sharing and phased retirement
- Employee health and pension benefits
- Benefits for retirees
MIT Makes the List
If you thought tech employers are only fixated on the young, consider this: MIT has just received AARP’s "Best Employer for Workers Over 50" award—for the seventh time. Alison Alden, HR VP at MIT, applauds the award. “Our objective at MIT is to promote a workplace of inclusion that welcomes and supports people of varying backgrounds, different viewpoints, experience, talents and ideas—a multi-generational workforce is critical to achieve that outcome," said Alden.
U.S. Needs a Boomer Workforce
By 2016, one-third of the total U.S. workforce will be 50 or older, a 28 percent jump from 2007. The percentage of workers in their early 20s is projected to decline, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Attracting and retaining mature, experienced employees is becoming a major factor for employers looking to fill critical skill shortages and keep their competitive edge in today’s marketplace.
Tired of getting rejected for your age? Check out AARP’s Best Employers for Workers Over 50.
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