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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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The 2009 AARP International Innovative Employer Awards

The top non-U.S.-based employers for age 50+ workers.

Welcome to the 2009 AARP International Innovative Employer Awards.

Now entering its second year, the awards recognize non-U.S.-based employers whose innovative workforce and/or human resource practices address issues of concern to 50+ workers and create roadmaps for the workplaces of tomorrow.
As the proportion of workers age 25 to 44 declines, attracting and retaining mature, experienced employees is becoming increasingly important for employers seeking to retain their competitive edge in today’s marketplace. By recognizing employers around the world that have demonstrated innovative ways to address issues relevant to older workers, AARP encourages all employers to create mutually beneficial work environments in which the potential of younger employees and the capabilities of mature workers are both valued.
2009 Winners
Adecco Employment Services Limited (Canada)

Winning Year: 2009
Industry: Service Sector
Location: Toronto, Canada
Employees: 436. Percentage over 50: 13 percent    

Adecco’s national hiring strategy actively targets age-50+ job seekers through its “Established Worker Career-Connections Program” and collaboration with the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP). To ensure that the hiring process is free from age discrimination, paper applications are available for 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 techniques for marketing their transferable skills.

BMW Group
Winning Year: 2009
Industry: Motor Vehicles Production
Location: Munich, Germany
Employees: 71,596. Percentage over 50: 20 percent

With “Today for Tomorrow,” BMW Group has implemented a comprehensive package of measures addressing demographic change in the workplace. The program includes innovative initiatives in the areas of health management, training and knowledge management, work environment, personalized retirement models, and others. When staffing a new production plant a few years ago, BMW Group specifically targeted unemployed older job seekers to ensure a well-balanced age structure and as a measure to support the regional labor market.

Winning Years: 2008, 2009
Industry: Telecommunications
Location: London, United Kingdom
Employees: 103,524. Percentage over 50: 30 percent

BT offers a wide variety of flexible-work arrangements through its “Achieving the Balance” portfolio. These plans help older employees make the transition from full-time employment to retirement. The “Career-Life Planning Tool,” another innovative BT program, helps employees develop their careers at every stage and accounts for changes that may emerge during employment.

Centrica plc

Winning Years: 2008, 2009
Industry: Utilities
Location: Windsor, United Kingdom
Employees: 27,338. Percentage over 50: 14 percent

Centrica’s efforts to create an age-diverse workforce include its “Age Action Group,” which convenes managers from different business units to create a detailed plan addressing the company’s aging workforce. Centrica also has an “Age Awareness” e-learning package for managers and employees to raise awareness about age-diversity issues. The company supports work-life balance through comprehensive, flexible work policies and a caregivers’ network.

Domestic & General Services Limited
Winning Years: 2008, 2009
Industry: Insurance
Location: Nottingham, United Kingdom
Employees: 747. Percentage over 50: 9 percent

Domestic & General Services Limited has implemented a number of recruitment strategies to attract and retain older workers for their experience, loyalty, and reliability. Materials for recruitment and assessment are tailored to resonate with different generations. The company uses telephone interviews during the first stage of the hiring process to avoid age bias. Employees at Domestic & General Services Limited are also encouraged to become “Age Positive Ambassadors,” and some represent the company at recruitment fairs.

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