The region’s travel and hospitality industry has been advised to take a leaf out of Singapore’s book and start looking beyond the ‘Gen Y’ age group as its main source of employees.
Andrew Chan, CEO of recruitment giant TMS Asia-Pacific, said that across Asia Pacific huge efforts continue to be expended trying to understand, recruit and retain younger generation staffers. This, he said, was a very different picture from the Singapore model where a recently released Ministry of Manpower (MoM) survey shows the employment rate for older residents aged 55 to 64 years rose to 59% in 2010.
“The MoM survey also showed the number of companies making sure they retain their older staff increased significantly from 64% in 2009 to 77% in 2010,” Chan said. “Given the number of workers aged 55 and over is expected to jump by some 15% within the next two years, the over 55s represent one of the best available sources of candidates for years to come.
Chan said the travel and hospitality industry still leaned too heavily towards recruiting younger staff.
“In doing so it is overlooking a massive pool of potential employers, many of who are already trained and able to hit the ground running given the appropriate opportunity,” he said. “As importantly, the over 55s are extremely flexible and are more than happy to take on part time roles and/or work from home which obviously represents considerable reductions in overall operational costs.
“The older population is growing faster than all other age groups and is projected to continue doing so. Employers really do need to start looking beyond candidates starting out in their careers as the only source of talent.
“Many of these, aside from offering an excellent source of ready-to-go, highly experienced employees, also represent prime candidates to place in roles proving difficult to fill in the current ‘war for talent’ environment.
“We could all do very well to take a leaf out of Singapore’s book,” Chan concluded.