My Dad Still Helps Me With My Homework

Posted On 24 Feb 2021

My Dad Still Helps Me With My Homework

24 Feb 2021

Candidate Resource, Employer Resource, News & Events

Lisa Annese, CEO of the Diversity Council Australia (DCA), was our guest speaker for last week’s Masterclass (thank you again, Lisa!). On this important topic, Lisa spoke across many different areas. I sat there glued (yes, I was one of those students who did not miss a day of school). One piece of information has stuck in my brain, and I cannot let go of it, and it is to do with ‘older, mature workers’.

What is an ‘older worker’?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), older workers are those 45-64 years of age. It appears I too am an older worker ?.

Curiously, this is accurate as it’s the feedback I also receive as a recruiter. What is the term given if you are over 64 years of age? Oldest worker? Ridiculous labels.

As Swedish philosopher, Kierkegaard said, ‘Once you label me, you negate me’, which is how I feel about this ‘old’, ‘older’ classification.

I prefer DCA’s interpretation of an older worker, as ‘however older is defined’.

Performance and prejudice

The real issue for this segment of our population, according to Lisa, and I also know this to be true, is not the ability to perform the job. It is the perception (bias/prejudice) of the capability, and thus being unsuccessful in securing a job, let alone an interview.

The research shows no difference in performance between older workers and our more youthful workers.

I can list the many benefits of both ‘younger’ and ‘older’ employees and their place and value in any organisation. But this blog is about addressing the growing difficulty of mature job seekers and their ability to be employed.

Getting the job

From my point of view, the issue of ‘getting the job’ and an interview is twofold:

It’s how to navigate the job market. I’m not that old and can see the vast differences from when I first entered the workforce, let alone how it will be in 10 years.


  • No job boards, in fact, no internet. It was a job advert in the newspaper, mostly Saturday. You circled the advert!
  • You phoned asap Monday morning to be ‘first in’.
  • No emailing resumes – we faxed them or wait for it – posted them. This worked to our advantage because the ‘portals’ were not all clogged up with resumes of ‘wishful thinkers’.

And it’s the perception of whomever is recruiting.

Here is a tip, if you are an ‘older worker’, use technology in applying for jobs with your experience of ‘before’ to gain an advantage. For example, it is rare for anyone to follow up on their resumes with a phone call. This will go a long way in getting you ‘seen’. Plus, when speaking with the right person, you will have a chance to shine, influence and convince. Treat the call like a preliminary interview. Trust me, it works – perhaps not every time, but your chances are significantly higher than just sending in your resume.

The statistics

Here are some further interesting statistics to consider:

19.4% of our workforce is over 55. That is nearly 20% and a significant proportion of our workforce representing talent – in a talent short market – broken record, I know!

Life expectancy is increasing each year. Since 1900 the global average life expectancy has more than doubled. In the last 100 years, life expectancy has shown growth of between 1-3 years per decade. Meaning that when the new generation was born in Norway (known for their longevity) or Japan, (Australia is not far away) in 2010 – (they are now 10 yrs. old), they will have a more than 50% chance of living past the age of 100. Now, who is an older worker!

Untapped talent

My Dad does not help me with my homework, but he does help me. He is 80. If I have a tender or marketing document, he proofreads, assists with wordsmithing, prose and insight (occasionally grammar and spelling ☹).

For Hiring Managers, with the continued struggle in finding talent, perhaps there are untapped talent pools of candidates to explore and discover, and perhaps our recruitment methodology needs reconsidering? How can we make it easier for some of these ‘older workers’ to apply? And consider, selection on merit, allowing for all categories of job seekers to be considered.

In backing my call to action, I would love to hire an ‘older’ recruiter. If you know someone, please send them my way!

“We don’t mature through age; we mature in awareness.”  Byron Katie

About the author
Roxanne Calder
Managing Director

As Founder and Managing Director at EST10, Roxanne has an all-encompassing role that includes building and growing the business, as well as actively recruiting and consulting.

After completing a Bachelor’s Degree at Monash University, Roxanne began her recruitment career with renowned recruiter Julia Ross. From there, Roxanne worked in HR and recruitment with a number of global players and boutique businesses throughout Australia, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong for over 20 years. She has been responsible for managing large teams and projects, implementing RPO models, managing and assisting businesses to an IPO and assisting companies in setting up their recruitment teams and processes.

Following completion of her MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Roxanne launched EST10 in July 2010. In doing so, she hoped to combine the flexibility and high touch service levels of boutique agencies with the structure and strategy afforded to larger firms. Roxanne believes in high-touch, high-care consulting and is always on the lookout for consultants that share this vision of recruitment.