ERIC Number: ED350400
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Employers' Views on the Value of Older Workers. Final Report.
University of Southern Maine, Portland. Human Services Development Inst.
A study examined the extent to which organizations in three New England states valued newly hired older workers. Telephone interviews were conducted with 105 directors of human resources (DHRs) and with 113 director supervisors from a broad range of organizations. Major dependent variables were general employer motivations and expectations related to hiring older workers and specific reactions to supervising older workers on a daily basis. Regarding DHR motivations to hire, flexibility in tasks performed and willingness to adapt to new technologies were identified as the two most important attributes. A factor analysis of employee characteristics considered by DHRs at time of hiring revealed four factors: extrinsic--full-time, extrinsic--part-time, intrinsic--personal characteristics, and intrinsic--fit. Overall, DHRs were motivated to hire older workers for many reasons suggested in employment literature--their reliability, rich experience, work ethic, and general excellence as employees. Supervisors, who also reported strongly positive feelings toward newly hired older workers, appeared to make clearer distinctions between younger and older workers than DHRs did. They saw older workers as being more attentive to detail, having fewer absences, and displaying greater enthusiasm toward work. Supervisors paid especially high regard to the youngest workers in the sample (aged 50-54), workers with college degrees, and workers with excellent or good health. (Appendixes include 40 references, additional DHR and supervisor data, employer contact protocols, and survey instruments.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: American Association of Retired Persons, Washington, DC. Andrus Foundation.
Authoring Institution: University of Southern Maine, Portland. Human Services Development Inst.