What organization wouldn’t love to bring on seasoned, responsible employees — especially if you can get them for way-under-market salaries? Well, get ready. They could be coming your way.
Using what’s being touted as the ultimate career transition tool, more and more over-40 victims of corporate downsizing are applying for internships — many in new fields.
The practice is a way for older employees to get a foot in the door when many companies are still feeling gunshy about adding full-time staffers.
A lot to offer
And it has virtually no downside for employers. Even if they’re new to the industry, older workers bring decades of work experience to the table. They know what’s expected of them, and how to manage change.
They’re likely natural mentors to your younger staffers.
And finally, they’re inexpensive.
Surge in interest from older workers
According to a recent survey from CareerBuilder, 27% of employers planned to hire interns in 2010. And 23% say they’re seeing internship applications from workers with more than 10 years experience, including many from people over 50.
Interns’ typical duties, according to the survey:
- General work tied to company’s “overall goals” — 73%
- Office support — 52%
- Working with customers — 35%
- Running errands — 23%, and
- Office maintenance –19%.
What will they get paid? It varies. Seven percent of respondents said they’d only be hiring unpaid interns. An additional 5% percent said they will hire both paid and unpaid interns.
Fifty-three percent of those employers who’ll hire interns said they’ll pay them $10 or more per hour; 5% said they will pay $25 or more per hour.
The biggest advantage of bringing on older interns may be the opportunity to use the internship as an “extended interview” — employers can learn substantially more about an individual than they can during the normal hiring process.
For a look at the “interns-over-40” phenomenon, go here.