MDB Insight Blog


Highlight Skills for Mature Workers

Mature workers looking for new jobs are an often-untapped resource of highly skilled individuals. Mature job seekers may be re-entering the workforce after a period away or they may be shifting focus to a second career later in their professional lives.

Mature job candidates can be easily overlooked by hiring systems and resumé scanning programs, due to their lack of experience or qualifications in a particular industry. In addition, job postings may be tailored to a younger generation, which mature employees may not relate to or even find online, though they are equally suited for these positions. However, mature workers have a huge benefit to offer the workforce: skills. 

Today’s High-Tech Workforce Needs Skilled Individuals

The workforce is rapidly shifting in response to technology advancements. The RBC Report “Humans Wanted” details how industries need to begin hiring based on core skills instead of  qualifications. As technology continues to disrupt the workplace, systems, software, and processes will also change, meaning that the workforce will need to consistently learn and upgrade their skills. 

One skill that is certain to be in demand is a base level of digital literacy. Mature employees should highlight this skill on their resumés and in job interviews. The RBC Report also found that there are a few key skills that will be exceptionally valuable to employers as technology takes over the repetitive tasks, leaving the more complex operations and problem solving to people. Those key skills are:

  • Critical thinking
  • Complex problem solving
  • Judgement
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Active listening
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork

Mature Workers Are Poised to Bring Skills to the Table

image12A mature employee, who is shifting careers, has already spent time developing the base skills (listed above) that are crucial for success in most industries. Regardless of where an employee obtained teamwork, leadership, communication and adaptability skills, all are easily transferable. Employers can also rest assured that these skills do not have to be developed over time with newly-hired mature workers. 

Gaps in employment history among mature workers do not need to be seen as a disadvantage. A potential mature employee may have been out of the workforce for a few years for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Raising children
  • Taking care of aging parents
  • Going back to school
  • Recovering from an illness or injury

A person who took time away from employment to focus on other priorities has, while doing so, learned key skills that can be put to work in industry. Time management, social perceptiveness, teamwork and adaptability can all be developed as part of a family and in the community at large. Mature employees have life experience that also translates to skill development, making them highly desirable candidates.

Spotlight Mature Employees in Your Workforce Development Plan

Craft your workforce development strategy to include mature employees as a key talent source, with the skills in place to succeed in today’s changing workforce. 

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