Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023

A no-brainer for Hong Kong’s talent search: embrace older workers

A no-brainer for Hong Kong’s talent search: embrace older workers

While Hong Kong is trawling the world for talent, it could also tap the potential of workers over 65. In addition to raising the retirement age, companies could attract older workers with measures such as flexible working hours and specially developed titles and roles.

Hong Kong is facing a declining and ageing population. Tens of thousands of residents, a large number of them below 44, left Hong Kong for various reasons such as work, study and settling abroad. To maintain a stable, committed and productive workforce in Hong Kong, the government should extend the mandatory retirement age beyond 65, and employers should embrace older workers.

Firms around the world are paying attention to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to address systemic inequalities related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other dimensions of identity. However, age is often overlooked as a facet of the term DEI.

Ageism in the workplace reduces opportunities for older workers to develop and advance in their careers. According to a survey conducted in the United States by the non-profit AARP in 2017, two-thirds of respondents between 45 and 74 of age said they experienced age-related discrimination. Ageism can affect the way older workers are perceived and treated by their colleagues and managers, leading to social isolation and reduced job satisfaction.

Thanks to the advances in healthcare over the years, Hongkongers’ life expectancy has increased to 85.4 years. Insisting on people retiring when they turn 65 is a waste of human resources, especially when most jobs in Hong Kong require knowledge and experience that older workers have accumulated over the years.

Embracing older talent is a no-brainer especially when Hong Kong is trying to replace the many professionals who left the city. The Top Talent Pass Scheme aims to attract foreign professionals who graduated from the world’s top 100 universities.

This scheme appears to be effective in attracting young Chinese citizens from the mainland or overseas to work and live in Hong Kong. But mainland China is also short of young talent, as its population, like Hong Kong’s, is shrinking and ageing.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong would be hard-pressed to attract young talent from the United States, the United Kingdom or Australia when tensions between these countries and China has intensified, partly due to the creation of the Aukus alliance in 2021.

Commuters walk across an intersection in Central on April 6. Hong Kong’s government has launched the Top Talent Pass Scheme to attract graduates of the world’s top 100 universities.

Young professionals may be more technically savvy. But their work attitude can be a challenge for Hong Kong, which is seeking to kick-start its economy as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, mainland China has seen the emergence of the “lying flat” movement among youngsters who prefer to do the bare minimum to get by.

In the United States, a Gallup poll of people capable of doing their job while working from home found that 60 per cent of respondents preferred long-term hybrid work arrangements, including working from home.

More firms in the US are now hiring older workers after experiencing difficulties in recruiting and retaining younger workers. Older workers are more committed and loyal. In a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and research organisation NORC at the University of Chicago, over 75 per cent of people aged 65 and older said they valued hard work, compared to 61 per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds.

Indeed, more than 2,500 American companies, such as Bank of America and Microsoft, have pledged to give workers over 50 a fair chance during hiring.

Some older people need to work for a living because of inflation and the higher cost of living. However, many older employees want to work because they would like to contribute and create value for the company. At the same time, working enables them to remain active and engaged.

The health benefits of postponing retirement include, according to some studies, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, depression and cognitive decline. The well-being of older people in Hong Kong can benefit society, increasing happiness and reducing healthcare costs.

Many firms are reluctant to hire older workers because of various biases, such as seeing older people as being less adaptive and less creative, and concerns about higher costs. By actively hiring older workers, businesses can challenge these stereotypes and promote a more inclusive workplace culture.

Specifically, they could consider three suggestions that address their concerns about hiring older workers and create value for employers, employees and society as a whole.

First, developing a flexible contract work for older workers can attract more retirees to the workforce. Indeed, many older workers prefer flexible work so that they have time for themselves and to take care of their loved ones.

Second, developing roles and job titles for older people can be effective. This can enable the firm to secure the services of older workers without offering higher pay and without having them feel that they have been demoted. With a different title and role, employers can avoid salary comparisons between older and younger workers.

Third, offering older workers managerial or mentor roles can be valuable. These positions can enable older workers to create value by leveraging their years of expertise or tenure. Older workers can provide guidance and support, sharing their knowledge and experience to help younger workers develop their skills and career paths. This mentoring relationship can also help to create a positive workplace culture.

At the same time, programmes should be developed for young leaders to manage older workers. This would also promote diversity and inclusion.

Much older talent is hidden in plain sight. Turning these people into assets can help Hong Kong thrive.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Nvidia CEO Huang says firms, individuals without AI expertise will be left behind
WPP Revolutionizes Advertising with NVIDIA's AI Powerhouse
Two US Employees Fired For Chasing Robbers Out Of Store As They Broke ''Company Policy''
Pfizer, the EU, and disappearing ink - Smoke, Mirrors, and the Billion-Dose Pfizer Vaccine Deal: EU's 'Open Secret
The Sussexes' Royal Rebound: Could Harry and Meghan Markle Return to the UK?
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
Neuralink Receives FDA Approval for First-in-Human Clinical Study
Ukrainian Intelligence Official Admits to Assassination Attempts on Putin
WATCH THIS: democracy in Russia is so bad!
Ed Davey: It is possible for a woman to have a penis
Bernard Arnault Loses $11.2 Billion in One Day as Investors Fear Slowdown in US Growth Will Reduce Demand for Luxury Products
Russian’s Wagner Group leader: “I am not a chef, I am a butcher. Russia is in danger of a revolution like in 1917.”
TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning the App
Ron DeSantis Jumps Into 2024 Presidential Race, Setting Up Showdown With Trump
Steve Jobs introducing Apple's iPhone, exactly 16 years ago.
Banking Behemoth vs Ex-Boss: The PMorgan-Epstein Entanglement
China overtakes Japan as world's top car exporter
Talks between US House Republicans and President Biden's Democratic administration on raising the federal government's $31.4tn debt ceiling have paused
Biden Administration Eyeing High-Profile Visits to China: The Biden Administration is heating things up by looking into setting up a series of top-level visits to Beijing by top officials in the coming months
New evidence in special counsel probe may undercut Trump’s claim documents he took were automatically declassified
A French court of appeals confirmed former President Nicolas Sarkozy's three-year jail term for corruption and influence peddling
Debt Ceiling Crises Have Unleashed Political Chaos
Weibao Wang, a former software engineer at Apple, was charged with stealing trade secrets related to autonomous systems, including self-driving cars
Mobile phone giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 jobs globally over three years as new boss says its performance not good enough
Elon Musk compares George Soros to Magneto, the supervillain from the Marvel Comics series.
Warren Buffett Sells TSMC Shares Over Concerns About Taiwan's Stability
New Study Finds That Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia Is a Major Cause of Death in COVID-19 Patients Who Require Ventilator Assistance
The official tapes of Trump's deposition in the E. Jean Carroll battery (rape) and defamation case have been released.
King Charles III being crowned.
Newly released video of Donald Trump’s rape trial deposition:
Video: Ukraine MP Punches Russian Representative At Global Meet
El Paso mayor has declared a state of emergency
Russia accused Ukraine of attacking the Kremlin with drones in an attempt to kill Putin
Dutch court orders man who fathered 550 kids to stop donating sperm
Kim Kardashian Lookalike Christina Ashten Dies Of Cardiac Arrest, Hours After Plastic Surgery
Samsung has banned employees from using generative AI services such as ChatGPT
'Godfather Of AI' Geoffrey Hinton Quits Google To Warn Of The Tech's Dangers
A Real woman
Vermont Man Charged with Stalking After Secretly Tracking Woman with Apple AirTag
Elon Musk Statements About Tesla Autopilot Could Be 'Deepfakes,' Lawyers Claim. Judge Evette Pennypacker Does Not Understand How Far and Advanced This Technology Became
Ukraine More Prepared for Counterattack as Reinforcements Arrive
Tucker Carlson is back, soon!
China Unveils Construction Road Map for Lunar Research Station
NetEase Launches Low-Code Platform to Help Businesses Develop Custom Apps
AT&T's Successful Test of Satellite-Based Phone Call Raises Possibility of Widespread Coverage
CNN: "Joe Biden is asking for four more years — when 74% of Americans think the country is heading the wrong way“
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Cuts Short Live TV Interview Due to Health Issue
5 men dressed as women agree that ALL white people are racist.
President Biden announced his campaign to run for a 2nd term.
Justin Trudeau vs. Trudeau Justin