How Does Age Factor In Working With An Executive Recruiter?
The answer may surprise you. While it’s true that in decades past, employers have found ways to skirt the laws against age discrimination to avoid hiring candidates they felt were too close to retirement age, attitudes are shifting significantly in today’s market. Obviously, there will always be some companies who cling to old ideas, but their numbers are dwindling and that’s good news for executive-level job seekers.
What’s Different Now?
Since the Baby Boomer generation began reaching the traditional retirement age range of 62-65, things have shifted in the business world. The Boomers are a large generation, and they still represent not only a significant percentage of our work force, but also a significant percentage of business owners and executives. They’re also living longer and healthier lives than previous generations, and they’re deeper in debt than their parents or grandparents. About a quarter of Baby Boomers are still paying mortgages when they reach age 65.
The children of those Boomers, Generation X, are likely to live longer yet, and they’re already in greater debt than their parents’ generation because many of them suffered delays in starting a career and achieving financial stability, because the recession that began in 1991 coincided with their entry into adult life. Gen X are also going to have to work until age 72 in order to receive full Social Security benefits, and because their children are saddled with the largest collective student loan debt ever – debt which most Gen X parents have had to co-sign – they, like their Boomer parents, will be working much later in life.
A New Normal
In the past, it was a strong cultural norm for people to retire by age 65, and if you saw someone working past that age, you might have felt sorry for them and wondered what had gone wrong for them. In today’s world, if you see someone retiring at 62, or even 65, you’re more likely to assume they’re well-off and think how lucky they are.
In an age where it was a given that an prospective employee would be retiring by 65, it was very difficult for people over age 55 to find positions, because companies felt that they wouldn’t get a good enough return on their investment in that employee.
Now, the business owners and senior executives who are making the hiring decisions for executives are, themselves, more likely to be in that over-55 age range, and planning to work to age 75, themselves. Furthermore, they understand first-hand how maturity, experience, and perspective can blend with youthful enthusiasm to build a stronger company with a more secure future.
Where Do Executive Recruiters Fit In?
Executive recruiters succeed by building long-term relationships with their client companies, and they do that through finding the right executives for those companies whenever they need them. They understand those companies, their cultures, and their decision-makers on a deep level. Working with an executive recruiter gives you an advantage because you’ll be introduced to a hand-selected set of companies that recruiter knows will value your experience and skills and will want to compensate you appropriately for them.