Managing older workers during a period of tight labour supply

Taylor, Philip, McLoughlin, Christopher, Brooke, Elizabeth, Di Biase, Tia, & Steinberg, Margaret (2012) Managing older workers during a period of tight labour supply. Ageing and Society, 33(1), pp. 16-43.

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Abstract

This article reports on a recent survey of employer attitudes and policies towards older workers in Australia at a time of sustained economic growth and ongoing concerns about labour shortages. Findings from a survey of 590 employers with more than 50 employees in the State of Queensland point to an unusually strong orientation towards the recruitment of older workers among respondents, although the retraining of older workers is not prioritised by the majority. The issue of workforce ageing is viewed as being of medium-term importance by the majority of respondents, although for a substantial number the issue is of immediate concern. Both sector and organisation size are predictive of the application of a broad range of policies targeting older workers, with public-sector and larger organisations more likely to be active. Concerns about workforce ageing and labour supply are predictive of employer behaviours regarding older workers, suggesting that sustained policy making may be emerging in response to population ageing over and above more immediate concerns about labour shortages and that this broad thrust of organisational policy making may be immune to the point in the economic cycle. This study found no evidence that the flexible firm will not countenance an ageing workforce.

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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 55580
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Older workers, Human resource management
DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X12000566
ISSN: 1469-1779
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 12 Dec 2012 22:46
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 12:43

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