Meet Lisa - an upbeat age-friendly recruiter at the FSCS
Age-friendly Employer: FSCS
Current role: HR Business Partner
Age at time of interview: 51
Time at FSCS: 1 year, 10 months
Lisa doesn’t mind being called an older worker. She’s learned to embrace the term! In her HR role, Lisa sees many, many job applications and has some great advice for older workers about what to include in their CVs – and what to leave out.
The FSCS is currently recruiting and that is certainly keeping me busy. While we use a recruitment agency to sort the initial applications, I'm fortunate to be involved in the interviews and meet people for roles across the organisation - from IT and technology, to finance and operations.
At the FSCS, we have a very diverse People Team in terms of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, backgrounds, parents of young children and so on. The age range within our team goes from 17 to 60. Within the organisation, it goes from 17 to 71.
Personally, I think it’s a great time to be an older worker. We’re the first generation that won’t have a set retirement age but we have more choice and flexibility in how we work in later life. We also have more access to information via the internet which makes working more flexible. There are more opportunities to work part-time or for ourselves.
Age discrimination and the move to the FSCS
Before joining the FSCS in a temporary role, I had been contracting for about six years. The space between contracts was getting bigger and bigger and I think it had a lot to do with my age. Clever recruiters can work out somebody’s age from their CV simply by seeing which year the applicant started school. I try not to believe discrimination exists but even I stopped applying to creative and media jobs because I knew that they were looking for younger people.
The transition from a temporary role to my permanent position has brought increased responsibilities. However, I can adapt easily because of my extensive past experience. Having a background in retail, learning and development, and contracting for six years as an HR Manager means I’ve gathered a lot of knowledge and expertise along the way, which I’m excited to bring to the FSCS.
‘Making the Most of Midlife’ and ongoing learning
At the FSCS we provide Midlife Career Conversations and a ‘Making the Most of Midlife’ programme, and we’re starting our new high-potential programme. It's about recognising and understanding people's talent, whether you think they're going to go far within the organisation and - importantly - whether or not they want to.
With the spotlight shifting to us all having to work later in life, personal development is especially important for older workers. You must maintain your learning, take on new skills and technologies, and stay on top of the game.
Interestingly, I think that as you get older you are more aware of how you learn and are able to tailor your development needs to allow yourself to learn in the style which is most comfortable for you. And although you may need to expand your comfort zone to remain relevant, on the flipside, organisations need to be careful about forcing people outside of their comfort zone.
I’m still waiting to…
Finally, if I was able to take a sabbatical I think I would do my Master's degree, which I've been wanting to do for years. I should have done it when I was doing my postgraduate but I just couldn't take another year of studying!
What's Great About The FSCS?
I love the ethics of the organisation
It's all about the customer and making sure that people are protected, and if something does go wrong, we can pay back their lost funds. Our aim is to give people back their lives after they've had a massive shock to their financial stability, so it can be very rewarding.
I’ve rediscovered my love of learning and development
This job has brought a lot of benefits both professionally and personally. It's given me the chance to really expand my recruitment experience and has helped me to rediscover the joy of learning new things.
Working at the FSCS has opened my eyes to the corporate world
Although we're a not-for-profit organisation, we run the FSCS in a very corporate manner. It's provided me with experience and awareness of the regulatory family of companies, and given me networking experience with the likes of the FCA, the Bank of England and Treasury. I've even been to meetings at the House of Lords.
“Personal development is vital. Having a longer working life means that you must maintain your learning to stay relevant”
HR Business Partner, FSCS
Lisa's career journey
Lisa's advice to others
Write a CV that will catch a bot’s attention
When I’m talking to people over 50 about job applications, I’ve realised that not many people know that a bot is likely to sort through CVs long before a human gets to see them. So it’s vital to use the right keywords in your CV. Tailor your language to reflect the language of the advert, because that’s what the bot will be looking for. Older workers should also edit their work experience. Don’t list absolutely everything you’ve ever done because your CV will end up being ten pages long and the recruiter won’t have time to read it.
Change your expectations and your mindset
When you're over 50, there's a lot to be said for changing your expectations. Whether you're staying in the same industry, moving up the ladder, or looking to go part-time, your responsibilities will change. If you're reducing your hours, you may have thought about the change in salary, but are you also ready for a reduction in responsibilities and authority? It's all about a change of mindset.
Embrace being older
Don't worry about being called an older worker - be brave and embrace it! Think of it as moving into a different stage of your life and doing the things you want to do. As for organisations, they need to let older workers know that they want to work with them to get the best benefits, both for individuals and the organisation.
Run sessions on pensions for employees
One piece of advice I'd give to other businesses is to follow what the FSCS has done and ask your pension provider to run sessions for employees on the different tax implications for pensions. This is especially relevant since the changes were introduced that allow you to draw your pension at 55. For the FSCS, this turned out to be a really helpful way for people to understand their pension position and discover whether they needed to take any action to protect themselves in the future.
Studying, reading, travel. Love to visit museums, galleries and the theatre.
Just some of Lisa’s interests and side hustles
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