AARP, SHRM Announce New Co-sponsorship of AARP's Best Employer for Workers Over 50 Program

Jun 26, 2012
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Application Period for 2012 Award Now Open

ATLANTA –For more than a decade, AARP has recognized employers with progressive policies toward recruiting and retaining older employees—the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 awards.

Now the non-profit has staked out new territory, joining the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management, in co-sponsoring the program as it begins the application period for the 2013 search.

Announcement of the new joint initiative was made today at the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Atlanta. Thirteen thousand human resource professionals are attending the event.

“We are delighted that SHRM will be joining us as we move forward with an important program that both identifies innovative employers and serves as a model for others seeking to better meet the needs of experienced workers,” said A. Barry Rand, AARP’s CEO.

“SHRM and its members have a unique perspective on employer policies around the country, a perspective that will help better pinpoint forward-looking practices,” Rand added.

“Every organization needs to view its older workers as highly valuable assets and develop strategies to keep this enormous wealth of talent,” said SHRM President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson. “It’s absolutely critical for organizations to embrace new ways to retain older workers, especially in the face of the coming wave of Boomer retirements.”

AARP created the Best Employers program in 2001. Such diverse organizations as Scripps Health of Southern California, a major hospital and health care provider; Cornell University and L.L Bean are among those who have been selected over the years.

The new joint effort is expected to increase the reach of the program by attracting more applicants, and by sharing award winners’ best practices with a broader audience.

In a related development, AARP and SHRM today released the results of a national telephone survey last month of 1,000 workers age 50 and over that probed their views on a variety of work-related issues.

Key findings of the survey—which involved both those with jobs and those seeking work—include:

  • Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) said that financial reasons (including health insurance) were the primary motivation for working or looking for work now. About one in five (19 percent) said the primary reason was non-financial, such as enjoyment or the desire to be productive; and
  • More than three quarters (77 percent) of employed fifty-and-over workers said they plan to remain in their current job until they stop working completely. A smaller percentage of unemployed workers (52 percent) said they would prefer to find a job in the same field as their previous job. Just over one in four (27 percent) unemployed workers said they would prefer to find a job in a different field, and nearly one in five (18 percent) said they would prefer to start their own business.

The Best Employers search examines organizations that offer policies and practices that appeal to workers 50 and over, including flexible work options, training opportunities, and competitive health and retirement benefits.

Any employer with at least 50 employees and headquartered in the United States is eligible to apply for the honor. This includes for-profit companies, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions and local, state, and federal government agencies.

An independent research firm and a panel of judges comprised of national experts score applications. Final ranking is based on these scores after additional review.

Employers who offer progressive workplace policies that meet the needs of workers 50 and over should apply for the 2013 awards before November 12, 2012 at or

Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

For more news, follow @SHRMPress.

Follow AARP on Twitter @AARP and @AARPMoney.


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter at

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, our bilingual multimedia platform for Hispanic members; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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