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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Best Employers

Adecco Employment Services Limited

Winner: 2009 AARP International Innovative Employer Award

Industry: Service Sector
Location: Canada

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

Adecco’s national hiring strategy actively targets age-50+ job seekers through its Established Worker Career Connections Program and in collaboration with the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP). To ensure that the hiring process is free from age discrimination, the company provides paper applications to candidates who do not feel comfortable with computers. Job candidates who are re-entering the workforce are educated and trained on standard interviewing practices and in techniques for marketing their transferable skills.

Additional Policies and Practices

Lifelong Learning and Training: Adecco’s “Skill Builder” training program offers thousands of courses in a wide variety of professional fields and is available for use from any personal computer. This program has proved to be an excellent resource for Adecco’s age-50+ employee base, as it provides opportunities to learn new systems and software in a nonthreatening environment.

Course offerings at the Adecco University Learning Centre include “Cross-Generational Workers in the 21st Century” and “Making Cross-Generational Teams Work.”

New hires go through an extensive three-month training program, which helps people who are new to the industry to quickly become knowledgeable of Adecco’s systems and processes. This is particularly beneficial to age-50+ employees, who are often hired with many years worth of transferable skills but a limited knowledge of the industry.

Moreover, Adecco’s Future Leaders Development Program, which prepares high-potential employees for management positions, is open to older workers. In its inaugural year (2008), two out of nine participants were mature workers.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Adecco employees enjoy a variety of flexible work arrangements, including formal job-shares, flexible work times, compressed work schedules, flexible staffing arrangements, and telecommuting opportunities. This flexible work environment is particularly beneficial to workers age 50+, who are looking for flexible work solutions.

A specific example that demonstrates how Adecco’s flexible staffing arrangement benefits workers age 50+ is the case of an employee who enjoys four months off every summer and works a reduced work week for the rest of the year.

Adecco further helps individuals with experience in specific positions or industries to find permanent, temporary, or contract employment in new areas.

Health Promotion and Protection
: Adecco’s health strategy has preventative and responsive features. On the preventative front, Adecco conducts safety inspections with any new industrial clients to ensure high safety standards. Mandatory lifting and working-at-height restrictions have been implemented for all employees.

Adecco has a formal employee assistance program, which offers personalized support and counseling, including aging and midlife counseling. In addition, the program offers support services for elder care.

Adecco offers short- and long-term disability programs, which offer job and income protection, a personal leave of absence policy with a job-protection component, and compassionate care and emergency leaves.

Diversity Promotion
: Adecco has a formal diversity program with clearly defined goals and objectives. Current recruitment and retention strategies were designed with a focus on inclusiveness of all generations. A training program on this topic was rolled out to the senior leadership team and to managers throughout the country.

Adecco partners among other things with 50+ groups, such as CARP, and organizations for persons with disabilities.

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