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If you are only targeting younger people for contract positions, you may be missing the boat.

According to a recent Reuters article citing an MBO Partners survey, 40% of temporary/contract workers are ages 50 and over. Ten percent are over 65.

According to the article, contract staffing is providing a viable option to older workers who are still struggling to find traditional jobs post-recession. In August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployed individuals over age 55 had been out of work an average of 52.7 weeks while younger workers were only jobless for 36.1 weeks. Kerry Hannon, who discusses the trend in his book “AARP Great Jobs for Everyone 50+,” told Reuters that contract staffing is one of the best job moves older workers can make.

It’s also good for companies that are reluctant to make a direct-hire commitment in this uncertain economy. In addition, it helps them retain or gain valuable knowledge. A survey by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and AARP showed that seven in 10 employers are worried about the potential loss of talented older workers and that 30% are dealing with the issue by hiring retirees on a consulting or part-time basis, according to the Reuters article.

This is a trend we have seen growing over the past few years. Contract staffing is the perfect solution for older workers who may want or need to remain in the workforce but who are seeking more flexibility so they can spend more time with family or on hobbies.  This is becoming so common that we have even seen some recruiters concentrate solely on placing retirees in contract positions.

You can also help retirees with the one major obstacle that keeps them from taking contract positions: lack of healthcare insurance. If you are placing retirees in contract positions, you can help them get benefits by placing them through a contract staffing back-office. As the employer of record, many back-offices offer their contractors benefits. For example, FoxHire offers its contractors a full menu of benefits, including healthcare insurance through Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

If you have not already considered older workers for your contract positions, now may be the time for you to give these experienced workers a second look.

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