Recruitment of early retirees: A vignette study of managers’ decisions

Retirement is characterized as a dynamic process that can designate different outcomes: from early retirement to re-entry to the labour force. Recent studies on the Dutch population show that a substantial number of early retirees re-enter the work force after early retirement. Yet others do not succeed, even though they want to return to the labour force. The question arises as what are the factors that affect managers’ likelihood of hiring early retirees. In this study we aim at explaining which individual and organisational characteristics affect managers’ decisions. To answer this question, a vignette study among Dutch managers and business students was conducted. Profiles of hypothetical early retirees were presented to the respondents who were asked to make specific employment decisions. The results show that hiring early retirees is of low priority to managers and students, and depends to a large extent on organisational forces such as personnel shortages and the age of the retiree. This study suggests that despite equal opportunities policies, age discrimination is still present on the Dutch labour market.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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