Too Hard To Hire Too!

Boomers and other “older workers”,

We appreciate any help we can get in our job searches.  Really we do.  We are having a hard time finding a new boss.  We seem to be less useful, less desireable, less bankable than before.  It seems that just last year we were valued for our skills, our abilities, our educations, etc.  Somehow we quickly became less useful, less productive, too expensive and overqualified to get a job at any price.   So we welcome the news that someone wants to help.

But has it really sunk to this?  Check out the following.  I have included the link so you can read the entire article.

“Hard2Hire.com, a free website dedicated to helping jobseekers who may not fit the ideal employee profile connect with potential employers, today announced that it is expanding its original charter of helping ex-offenders rejoin the American workforce to offer its employment matchmaking services to the millions of recently laid-off workers, disabled workers, and older workers. The company is committed to helping at least 1 million Americans return to work in 2009. ” (The emphasis is mine.)  http://tinyurl.com/25p7nr3 

When I saw the headline, I thought it was great news.  Another jobs board is helping older workers land jobs by convincing employers that we still have value and deserve a place in the workplace.  I hadn’t run across this company before but I was excited to learn of them.  But when I read the article, my first reaction was sadness.  Then I got mad.  But first, let me be clear.

No offense to Hard2Hire.  They saw a need and positioned themselves to help fill it.  Noble intentions and sorely needed services often make for business success.  We are thankful for the help and hope they succeed.

No offense to disabled workers.  We all know it is extraordinarily hard for the disabled to get jobs.  Shame on American business for that.  Thank you to Hard2Hire for trying to help.  

No offense to ex-offenders.  You are trying to put your life back on track.  We applaud your efforts and hope you are successful.  Thank you Hard2Hire for trying to help.

But when did older workers become as difficult to hire as disabled workers?  Can you do the job?  Do you have physical limitations that impair mobility, that require workplace retro-fits, that hamper productivity?  If you do, perhaps an employer is justified in thinking long and hard, in weighing the pros and cons of hiring you.  But if you don’t, should the decision to hire an older worker be so challenging for an employer?  Yet it seems that this is the case.

When did older workers become as much of a risk for an employer as ex-offenders?  What was our crime?  Bribing our bosses to get more responsibility, to get promotions, to get raises?  Robbing others of opportunity by staying too long, by working too hard, by giving too much for our employers?    Stealing too many years?  We know it is difficult to convince an employer that you have changed your ways when your ways once broke the law, but we have not changed our ways.

Are we now as difficult to hire as the disabled, as former criminals?  If so, we are thankful for anything that can help change that situation.   But we are irate that employers view us as so costly, so dangerous, so challenging to accommodate that we need the help of job boards like Hard2Hire. 

We hate that employers need to have their arms twisted, that they need to be convinced, that they need to be cajoled into hiring us.  And we are mad as hell that it has come to this.  

So many angry Boomers, so many reticent employers, so many marketing plans revolving around us.  Seems like we should be able to reverse this ugly trend, especially if we open our wallets far more judiciously and ask the question.

Are you Boomer Friendly?

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