Business Today

More retirees pip youth to land corporate jobs

Trend to hire retirees at mid-level management positions over youth catches on in the corporate sector, as companies look to cut cost.

Amit Shanbaug   Mumbai     Last Updated: October 2, 2010  | 11:43 IST

Some sectors seem to be showing a growing preference for retired senior officials to fill up mid-level management positions in comparison to fresh management trainees, indicate headhunting firms.

According to Kshitij Nadekar, executive director of Pune-based headhunting firm, Polestar Management Services, trend of hiring retired people is quietly catching up.

"Today retirement no longer means end of productive time of a person. A person who retires at, say, 58 or 60 years has at least 10 to 12 productive years left, which these firms are trying to tap," he said.

Polestar recently bagged a contract from a south-based finance firm to provide around seven retired managers for their offices in Maharashtra.

Nadekar said that retired people fit into positions requiring certain experience and expertise.

"Sectors like engineering, manufacturing, power and infrastructure require people with expertise. They prefer to hire retired people with 30 to 35 years of experience and expertise," he said.

He added that hiring retired people helps firms cut down on costs. "The retired officials are generally well settled and don't have any problems with finance as they already have their pensions and retirement funds in hand. Companies too, capitalise on this and hire them for less than one-tenth of the salary they used to earn earlier. Retired officials also don't mind getting paid less. And their spare time, which they would idle off at home, is also utilised properly," Nadekar pointed out.

"As per an American health journal, people who have some kind of job after their retirement are physically and mentally fitter than their counterparts who have stopped working after their retirement" he said.

According to 2001 census, nearly 7.5 per cent of India's population comprises people above age of 60 years, which works out to a little over seven crore.

Alok Bansal, chief executive officer (CEO) of Delhi-based Alithiya Education Services, explained that hiring retired people helps in reducing the problem of attrition.

"These people are well-trained and know the requirement of the job. They are comfortably positioned and hence don't think of quitting like their younger counterparts. I know a couple of human resource heads who don't think of hiring anyone young," he said.

Bansal said this trend is prevalent in sectors like insurance and telecom. "Even in places where there is a need to hire branch heads or team managers, such as in call centers, retired officials or those who have taken voluntary retirement are preferred," he said, adding, the trend was started by retired army officials.

"There is a lot of preference for ex-serviceman for their dedication and discipline. There are many dedicated websites catering to retired army officials.

There are even companies who prefer officials who have completed their short service commissions in the army," he said.

According to Arif Parker, vice-president (sales) at job portal, the company is yet to start any initiatives in this direction.

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