Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

How to Capture the Interest of Older Job Seekers

Matt Moore

As many of you may already be aware, CoolWorks is popular with folks who are at or near retirement. (We’ve had a page dedicated to the Older & Bolder crowd since 1999!). After years of working in a wide range of careers, they discover our site and are immediately excited at the prospect of traveling the country, seeing new places, and meeting new people, all while supplementing their income and staying active. But many of them quickly begin to wonder if employers will consider them, if there’s a place for them in this exciting new world of opportunities they’ve discovered.

Candidates in the retirement age brackets can contribute a wide range of benefits to your company: workplace diversity, decades of work experience and ethic, and lots of wisdom and perspective to share within your organization. Attracting these candidates can more easily be accomplished by making a few tweaks to your recruitment marketing materials and operations.

Update your Marketing Materials

A major contributing factor to retirees contacting us wondering whether or not they would be considered for opportunities they find on CoolWorks is lack of representation: they don’t see themselves in the photos or videos, or don’t feel they’re being spoken to in the employers’ ideal candidate descriptions. To better tap the interest of these candidates, consider updating your visual materials displaying the age-diversity of your staff, and revisiting some of your recruiting copy that may be alienating to more mature demographics (e.g. “We party on and off the clock!!!”).

Make Some Housing Adjustments

A primary concern for older candidates is housing, and much of this concern stems from the perception that these jobs are only for college-age kids, so housing must be loud, cluttered, and unruly. Address these concerns through policies (enforced rules surrounding noise, conduct, cleanliness of housing areas) and/or housing options. If you currently have multiple housing options, consider designating one as a quiet or private dorm that candidates can request. RV sites are also very popular with older candidates, so making these available for employees will also be an appealing housing option for retirees.

Stay Informed of Income & Healthcare Concerns

Many candidates of retirement age have begun receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits, and because of this, are limited in the amount of wage income they can earn in a single year before those benefits begin to be reduced ($19,560 in 2022). For this reason, many of these candidates may be interested in shorter season dates, part-time positions, and/or receiving room & board as part of their compensation. The amounts change from year to year and are different depending on the age of the candidate, but staying up to date on these considerations, and speaking to them in your job listings, will help indicate that your company is aware of the unique concerns of working-retirees and able to work with their circumstances.

Helping older candidates visualize themselves spending a season (or several!) with your company can help them feel confident that they’d find a good fit, prevent them from pre-disqualifying themselves before they reach out to learn more, and ultimately strengthen your organization by adding a diverse and experienced talent pool to your potential candidates.