50 best companies for employees over 50
This year, the AARP's list gives special preference to companies that offer flexible hours. Plus, job sites for people who want to keep working through 'retirement.'
(Fortune) -- The AARP's latest list of the top places to work for people over 50 includes some household names, like Volkswagen of America (#6), drug maker Hoffmann-LaRoche (#10), L.L. Bean (#43), and John Deere (Charts) (#50).
As in previous years, however, by far the largest group of companies on the list are privately owned health-care providers, like No. 1-ranked Mercy Health System, headquartered in Janesville, Wis.
What they all have in common: They offer flexible work hours to an increasing number of their employees.
Volkswagen, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., is typical. The company makes flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing, and telecommuting available to both full- and part-time workers, as well as letting some of its employees ease into retirement gradually by working part time first. After they do step aside, many of Volkswagen's retirees are offered consulting projects, temporary assignments, and part-time jobs.
Nonprofits like winner Mercy Health System, which runs 63 health-care facilities in Wisconsin and Illinois, offer other flexible-scheduling opportunities, like weekend-only work and on-call assignments involving a limited number of hours per month.
A recent study by the AARP and human-resources consultants Towers Perrin says that employees age 50 and over will account for 20% of the workforce by the year 2012, up from 13% now.
As a result, says smart employers are trying to create a "mutually beneficial work environment" for older workers, says AARP chief executive Bill Novelli. "Flexible arrangements can be a big part of that."
The full list of this year's honorees are below.
Web sites for older workers
Unfortunately, most of the employers on this year's list are limited to relatively small geographic areas. What if you're an over-50 job seeker who doesn't happen to live near any of them? Not a minute too soon, nationwide job sites for the older and wiser are beginning to appear on the Web.
Consider, for instance, RetirementJobs.com. Launched in May, the site acts as a matchmaker between the 50-plus crowd and employers who want to hire them for part-time, full-time, and temp jobs. Its services are free to job hunters, and so far some big names - H&R Block (Charts), Home Depot (Charts), Bank of America (Charts), and the American Red Cross among them - have signed on.
RetirementJobs.com also offers other resources, like resume-writing help, and features intriguing profiles of people who have found their dream jobs after retiring from their original careers.
Monster.com, meanwhile, has built an online job-search center called Careers at 50+ (careersat50.monster.com). A joint venture with AARP, the site features special advice for career changers, and interview and resume tips tailored to job seekers who have decades of experience. Check them out!
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