Middle-aged employees struggling in high-tech

The number of high-tech employees aged 45-50 in start-ups fell by 11.8% in 2012.

Older high-tech workers struggle to find new jobs after being laid off, according to a study by Oketz Systems Ltd. for "Globes". The study found that the number of high-tech employees aged 45-50 in start-ups fell by 11.8% in 2012, to 20.3% of all employees, from 22.7% of all employees in 2011.

Oketz also found that the percentage of high-tech employees aged 45-50 in larger companies fell by 8.8% in 2012, to 18.1% of all employees, from 19.7% in 2011.

Employees over 50 should also be worried about their position in the market. Their proportion of total employees at start-ups fell by 6.1% in 2012, to 11.4% of all employees, from 12.1% in 2011.

The study examined data on 18,568 employees at 324 high-tech companies.

Online placement company Drushim Portal co-CEO Dror Epstein attributed the drop in the proportion of older high-tech employees to layoffs. "Companies fire high-cost employees and replace them with young workers. It is also easier to subject young employees to the needs of the system because they work longer hours and need to show diligence in their CVs."

Epstein added, "In countless conversations with companies' executives, there is a clear picture of a layer of young managers who feel threatened by older and experienced high-tech workers, alongside concerns about how to fit them in."

There is also an assumption that older employees are not technologically up to date and that it is not worthwhile employing them, resulting in a winning recipe for ageism in high tech. That said, previous Oketz surveys found that older employees take fewer sick leave than younger employees. Furthermore, in addition to job experience and know-how, older employees are more settled in their jobs, which reduces hiring and training costs of new employees.

"The high-tech employment data indicate the added value of older and experienced employees, especially in sales and marketing, where the mileage chalked up is very important," says Oketz co-CEO Ami Bergman. "Nonetheless, the data indicate a dismal reality, which I believe will worsen in the coming years. We must not ignore this trend."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 7, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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