Retirees in high demand as Aussie businesses flock to harness ‘years of experience’

Jul 17, 2023
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that 40,600 more workers aged 65 and over were employed in February than in the same month the year prior. Source: Getty Images.

In good news for retirees wanting to make a little extra cash, more and more Australian businesses are harnessing the skills and experience of those who have recently left employment to address their workforce needs

As the nation faces a crippling skills shortage across multiple industries, several companies are reconsidering their traditional hiring methods. Instead of overlooking retirees who are ready and willing to contribute to the workforce, many have realised that these individuals possess a wealth of knowledge, a strong work ethic, and a genuine desire to remain engaged in meaningful employment.

According to the latest research conducted by specialised recruiter Robert Half, more than half of Australian employers (58 per cent) have hired someone who retired in the past year.

Employers are beginning to preference retirees during the hiring process due to the following factors:

  • They have specialised expertise after a lifetime in the workforce (60 per cent)
  • Retirees can contribute quickly (57 per cent)
  • Many retirees hold strong business acumen and knowledge of key business issues (51 per cent)
  • Can offer guidance to less experienced colleagues (49 per cent)

Director at Robert Half, Andrew Brushfield said “considering candidates who are retirees is a great way to uncover talent for higher-level or specialised roles to help combat Australia’s talent deficit.”

“Experienced workers bring a multitude of benefits to a business. They can share the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired throughout their career with current staff, they have a network of people across many areas, and they are often highly skilled and knowledgeable, which means they are able to offer a broad range of help to any business.

“A great candidate – regardless of their work history – should offer a mix of ‘science and art’ to their role. They should have the technical expertise to perform core job functions efficiently and effectively, and the ability to situate their skills within the wider organisational context, using power skills such as problem solving or stakeholder management.

“Alongside their tried-and-true technical capabilities, I often think a retired professional’s greatest value is their business acumen. They are able to draw on years of experience across shifting industry trends and economic climates to approach a problem with an educated response.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that 40,600 more workers aged 65 and over were employed in February than in the same month the year prior. The ABS found that most retirees are looking to return to work to increase their income to meet the financial demands that come with the rising cost of living

The recent shift towards more businesses filling job vacancies with eager retirees comes shortly after the Federal Government introduced measures to allow age and veteran pensioners to earn an additional $4000 over the financial year without losing any of their pension.

Originally the measures would have only been available until June 30, 2023, however, following consultation the Government extended the $4000 bonus through to December 31, 2023.

At the time, Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said it’s important that pensioners have the option to work if they wish to without facing financial penalties.

“We’ve listened and we’re now seeking to extend the measure for twelve-months to ensure people have time to use it,” Rishworth said.

“Our measure provides certainty – pensioners know exactly what they are getting up front and how much they can earn.

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to improving the lives of all Australians – including older Australians – and importantly providing choice.”



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