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Best Practices

Tips on Hiring and Retaining



As the population ages, businesses will increasingly need to know how to manage older workers. To attract and retain this talent pool, employers should change their perceptions of mature job applicants and adjust their hiring policies. The value of skills and experiences these older workers bring can benefit businesses greatly.


Here are some tips to hire and retain skilled older workers:

Use the right recruitment channels
Use the right recruitment channels:

To get the attention of mature job seekers, you should identify the right channels. You can consider these ways of reaching out to them.

  • Employee Referral Programmes: These programmes reward employees with cash incentives, gifts or vouchers for successfully introducing a potential candidate to the company.
  • Job advertisements in local newspapers or portals: Identify the newspapers or portals most read or visited by mature job applicants.
  • WSG Career Centre at Community Development Councils: These recruitment platforms are located throughout Singapore, and you can find the one best suited for you.
  • Continuing Education and Training Centres: These campuses organise or host recruitment events, networking sessions and career seminars, where employers can recruit skilled employees. Learn more here.
Have an age-diverse interview panel
Have an age-diverse interview panel

Implementing a diverse hiring panel ensures a mix of perspectives and systematically helps reduce unconscious bias in hiring. As the interviewing process can be intimidating for some, having an age diverse group of interviewers, including a mature interviewer, will also help to showcase the company’s diversity and put the interviewee at ease. This will help to bring out the best in the interviewee.

Create a supportive working environment
Create a supportive working environment

Having policies that cater to the needs of older workers shows that you genuinely value this group of employees. In turn, they are likely to stay loyal to the company.

One way to create an age-friendly workplace is through job redesign. Your workplace should be welcoming to employees of all ages, and a place where they can cooperate and work well together.

A safe and comfortable physical work environment can make all the difference for older workers. Redesigning jobs can be simple and cost-effective, and could involve modifying job tasks and responsibilities, as well as physical workspaces with the help of automation.

A good way to show older workers that you are invested in their development is by offering them opportunities to upgrade their skills. This shows all your employees that you are keen to nurture them, regardless of their age.

You can also consider implementing flexible work arrangements for older workers, who may want to spend more time with their families or on their hobbies. These arrangements can range from job sharing to telecommuting and part-time work, as well as more flexible hours such as working from 7am to 4pm or 6am to 3pm.

Refer to Work-Life Works! for more information on how to implement flexible work arrangements for older workers at the workplace.

Provide training opportunities
Provide training opportunities

Most older workers appreciate the opportunity to receive education and training. Keeping their skills up-to-date improves their employability and productivity in the company, and keeps them employable.

Companies can tap on the Government’s Workfare Training Support Scheme to reduce their training costs. Encourage younger and older workers to learn from each other through a mentoring system where younger employees are paired with older colleagues. Younger workers can learn from the experiences and insights of their older colleagues. In return, older workers can pick up new tips from their younger colleagues, for example, how to make better use of IT software, for instance.