More than 800,000 people over 50 years of age are unemployed in Spain, according to data from the latest Labor Force Survey (EPA). A figure that should be added to the 50,000 workers estimated to be affected by ERTE as a result of the pandemic.
Figures that could rise if the current situation worsens, as business readjustments often prioritize age over qualification when reducing staff costs. All of this was debated this Thursday at a round table organized by Generación Savia, an initiative developed by the Endesa Foundation together with the Máshumano Foundation.
The coronavirus has not only affected the income statements of companies, but has also forced to rethink the corporate world and the profiles that it requires.
“Senior talent has been the most valued because they are people with much more experience to handle difficult situations ,” said the director of the Knowdle Foundation, José Miguel Roca, during his speech. With the aim of turning the situation around and making the most of the possibilities of senior talent for the future, Savia listed eight keys.
Demographics . With the improvement of life expectancy and, above all, of the conditions in which advanced ages are reached, the deputy director of the Máshumano Foundation, Tomás Pereda, assured that a new vital stage is developing prior to old age, among 55 and 75 years.
This niche is, according to the expert, an opportunity for the labor market because it is made up of people who, thanks to the improvement in the quality of life, are still in good health to work. “The next war for talent is going to be in the seniors,” he predicted.
Governing bodies . Although the value of senior talent has been claimed for some years from human resources, it is necessary that this be a strategic aspect. “Organizations change when there is a perception that an issue is on the top management’s agenda,” Pereda commented.
An idea supported by the consultant Jesús Castells: “We must convey this message not only to companies, but to the people in charge of organizations, who are probably seniors as well.”
Just as more and more companies are concerned that there is a broad representation of gender, sexual orientation or race on their teams, age is yet another variable that must also be taken into account.
“The treatment that gender diversity has been having in recent years could be repeated on a small scale,” said Roca.
New models . It is time to rethink how the relationship with these profiles should be and reflect on a different way, through more flexible formulas, in which they can contribute to the business world. It is convenient to find recipes to continue betting on this talent while leaving room for youth.
Continuous training . Preventing knowledge from becoming obsolete and learning how to use new technologies requires constant effort. “You have to prepare while you work and not wait until you leave the company to start doing it,” Castells claimed.
Robotization and work teams . The experts warned that, in the future, a new group will have to be added to intergenerational coexistence: robots. In this sense, the founding president of Corresponsables , Marcos González, warned about how the precariousness of the working conditions of young people has also promoted early retirement, so both generations must work together.
Restructuring . During the pandemic, the focus was on the need to humanize companies, so continuing to prioritize age when carrying out restructuring is contradictory.
Employer brand . The Fundación Máshumano advocates creating new contractual formulas so that companies that so wish can position themselves as attractive brands for this type of talent. It is therefore necessary to maintain an emotional and, above all, a professional bond, beyond the employment relationship.