Technology-driven job search strategies have left many older workers behind

There has been a big change in the way people look for employment opportunities in the last decade. Hardcopy resumes and cover letters, newspaper advertisements and face-to-face interviews have gradually replaced LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and personal websites, career material transmitted electronically, job boards and web searches, and Skype interviews.

While technology developments have certainly expanded the scope of opportunities for people to find great jobs, the benefits have not remained the same among all job seekers. Research conducted in recent years has shown that, in general, older workers have not kept pace with their younger counterparts in their use of technology to design and execute job search strategies.

This is troubling because there is a lot of evidence that older workers face greater challenges in finding meaningful employment. Data from the 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Displaced Workers Survey shows that people aged 50 and older take 5.8 weeks to find employment compared to those aged 30–49 and those aged 20–29. It takes longer than 10 weeks.

Data from the 2015 BLS Current Population Survey found similar results; 44.6% of employed workers aged 55 and over had a loss of employment after 27 weeks, compared with 22.2% for those aged under 25 and 36 for those aged 25–54. % Compared to.

Can older workers learn to use technology-driven job search tools?

Older workers are often stereotyped in ways that adversely affect their ability to find meaningful employment. These stereotypes include:

  • lack of motivation,

  • less willing to participate in technology training and use,

  • more resistant to change,

  • Less trust in superiors and co-workers

  • less healthy, and

  • More vulnerable to work-family imbalance.

Many of these stereotypes do not necessarily closely resemble old worker behavior patterns in relation to employment. With regard to technology, there is evidence that older workers are more inclined to seek out and use technology tools, but face a number of limitations and issues that need to be addressed. Some of these include:

  • poor eyesight and hearing that hinder training efforts,

  • memory, recall and motor skills problems,

  • a lack of perspective on technology use, unlike younger workers who have grown up with technology in their lives, and

  • There needs to be less acceptance of “learning to learn” and a direct link between technology training/use and job search/employment success.

It is clear that technology is a critical component to any successful job search campaign and assuming that older workers cannot or cannot take advantage of technology tools does a disservice to this group of people. Training programs that take into account the learning limitations of older workers are becoming more common and should be expanded. Further, training needs to focus on clearly identified skills with better employability.

Source by Steven Watson, Ph.D.

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