A while ago, we wrote about the issue of the difficulty of more mature workers finding new full-time positions in the fallout from the 2008 recession and financial crisis. We discussed how many individuals five to seven years from retirement are looking to Contract / Contingent Supply Chain roles as a lifestyle alternative to permanent full-time roles, and we discussed how seasoned workers that companies hire on a contingent basis offer huge, unique upsides, including unparalleled mentorship for more junior individuals and dependability. Suffice it to say that there are tons of seasoned Supply Chain and Logistics professionals who know their stuff. And they’re able to offer companies flexible and highly-adaptable solutions leading to cost savings.
Despite this, it can certainly be difficult for mature workers during a recession. In addition, it’s often under-discussed and under-reported how difficult it can be for mature workers to find new roles even during upswings in the business cycle.
Recently, we heard from a senior individual in the Logistics field who wanted to tell us – as a boutique recruiter specializing in Supply Chain and its related disciplines – about his own experiences trying to find the right role as a mature worker, and the thinly-veiled age discrimination that he has experienced at times. We wanted to share his perspective because, even though we’ve often discussed the burgeoning Supply Chain talent deficit, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy for all skilled and talented Supply Chain professionals to find jobs today.
“You at Argentus are writing about a coming Supply Chain talent gap,” this individual says. “But to me, there’s a gap but there are a lot of guys who are 50+ who go to interviews and you get looked at as too old, too expensive, won’t get along with the younger generation. How do you politely say in an interview: ‘I have kids in their 20s. I know how to deal with a 20-year-old, a 30-year-old. I know how to deal with all kinds of people.”
“I was National Transportation Manager for a large Pharmaceutical organization,” he says. “And they wanted the Transportation Manager to be back in Montreal, so they moved it there several years ago and I was out of work. I’ve been working part time and doing consulting with a bunch of guys. They’re retired and working off their pensions so it is more sport than financial gain. ”
“I think that the days of people retiring at 65 might be winding down,” he says. “If you’re healthy and active you’re going to stay in the workforce whether you’re part time, contract or full time as long as you’re healthy and able to. When I was working full time, I said I can’t see myself retiring at 65 because I enjoy what I do. If I was in a position or a contract position I’d absolutely like to continue working. I don’t consider Logistics and Transportation a career. I consider it a passion. If I had to get heart medication to a patient in a remote area it wasn’t a job. It was stressful but if it went well, I was passionate about it. It was a good success. I’ve never considered logistics and transportation a career. It’s a learning opportunity and I’m passionate about it. I like it.”
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Thanks to this individual for reaching out to us and sharing his experience. We’re interested in understanding and discussing the experiences of all in the field. And we’d also like to reiterate that at Argentus, we’re well-connected to numerous seasoned passionate and hardworking Supply Chain Professionals, and we firmly believe that they have unique expertise and benefits to offer organizations now and in the future.
There is no question in my mind that there is a huge problem with age discrimination with both companies and recruiters. When I was looking to leave my last job for a new one, I can’t tell you how many recruiters contacted me based on my resume. And yet, out of close to 100 interviews, less than 5 resulted in a second interview. It became obvious in so many cases, within 5 minutes of walking through the door, that that would be the one and only interview.