Age is much more than a number

Aug 14, 2019

Biological time is a state of mind, and senior Chartered Accountants continue to be as skilled and as discerning as they were in their middle years. They continue to learn, to assess and to affect discriminating judgements. Employers need to realise that such professionals want to continue making a meaningful contribution to a business.

The demographic of our workforce is changing with older employees growing in number. This coincides with a time where there are increasing challenges for organisations who are seeking to recruit and retain talent. For smart organisation who are open minded when it comes to their recruitment process, this can represent a real opportunity for them if they realise that everyone, irrespective of their age, has something to bring to an organisation. Diversity is healthy. Having a more diverse workforce which includes a range of ages, experience, disciplines and cultures can assist an organisation enormously. It can bring a new perspective, challenge the status quo and act a stimulus for new initiatives.

Obviously younger finance professionals can have the same technical skills, knowledge and competencies as their older counterparts. However mature employees can offer other skills and real life work experience and perspectives that their younger counterparts can’t.

The following are the benefits of hiring a mature candidate:

Experience

Mature employees bring with them ‘experience’ in the broadest sense of the word - life experience. This can be a huge advantage in the current environment as organisations need employees who have experienced the ups and downs of the commercial world. Typically the real challenges are presented during an economic downturn and this can be a true test of a candidate’s capabilities. If an employee has a track record of achieving in these situations they are more likely to do so again. This ‘experience’ is likely to result in higher levels of self confidence which in turn can instil confidence in those around them making it easier for them to manage and motivate a team. This is a huge benefit in a climate where financial rewards are not available to use as a motivational tool.

Clear thinking

Experience means that a person is less likely to be ‘rattled’ by a challenging scenario. Mature candidates can be better equipped to make decisions, understanding the implications and consequences of decisions taken.  As a result of this higher level of emotional intelligence, mature employees have the ability to make objective decisions and possess strong judgement skills.

Productivity

A track record of successfully transitioning experience and competencies is a huge advantage to an organisation. Employees with greater levels of experience tend to hit the ground running, making a more immediate impact in a role. This will result in a less costly induction process and a quicker return on investment for an employer.

Senior level employees can act as role models for more junior team members. They can demonstrate and display the skills, competencies and behaviours that you develop as your progress in your career therefore setting a good example that others can learn from.

Act as mentors

Based on the wealth of experience and empathy mature employees bring to a role they can competently act as mentors to more junior staff members. Levels of intellectual capital and business acumen will increase as a result. The mentors lead by example and impart learning and experiences in doing so. Beneficial symbiotic relationships developed in this way contribute to the success and bottom line of a business.

Chartered Accountants Ireland operates a Mentor Programme through which many members have benefited from the insights, experiences and knowledge of their more senior fellow members. This in turn has been of benefit to employers.

Improved communication levels

Maturity often leads to higher levels of emotional intelligence. This is a huge advantage when it comes to communicating in the business world. Understanding the intricacies of organisations, cultures, politics and personalities can be a great tool and can increase the effectiveness of communications. It can help in terms of influencing the decision making process and building strong and profitable business relationships.

Contacts

Over the course of their careers, mature candidates will have developed a strong network of specialist contacts. This can be of significant benefit to an organisation. Networking is a crucial part of business today and any additional introductions a business can access can prove to be very lucrative.

Technical skills

Strong technical knowhow, not just from a theoretical perspective but also a comprehensive appreciation of the practical applications and implications, are skills that one can only develop over time. This skillset adds significantly to the intellectual capital within an organisation. Consequently a business with this in-house advantage will not need to spend money on buying in additional expertise.

For confidential and impartial career support visit our career's advisory website or contact Karin Lanigan on 01 637 7331 or email karin.lanigan@charteredaccountants.ie.