Giving Long-Term Mature Workers A New Era Of Employment

A preconception exists that it is too late for mature age workers to change career paths. Self-doubt often deters individuals, particularly those with decades spent in one industry, from seeking other avenues of employment. “But this is all I know,” they may say. AbilityMap helped unearth a lifetime of skills and inherent capabilities to help long-term mature workers get back to work (with some surprising results).

The Situation

An organisation had been charged with finding a solution to the persistent problem of mature individuals without work. These individuals had been unemployed for up to six months or more. Compounding their problems further, to retain the benefits on which they survived they were required to attend twenty interviews per month. What must one hundred and twenty rejections do to a person’s self-confidence and sense of worth? AbilityMap founders, Mike Erlin and Kevin Chandler, were met with a challenge from the CEO of the organisation: “if you can prove to me you do what you say you do, then we will do business.” Challenge accepted.

The Solution

AbilityMap proved that we are able to define the requirements needed for a role and evaluate an individual’s suitability based on the same framework … and then compare the two. Approximately three hundred long-term unemployed, mature individuals were asked to complete an Ability Imprint to determine their inherent capabilities as individuals. Using the incredible job data we have accumulated, we were able to compare their results – both individually and as a group – to the requirements of fifteen job categories across various industries available within their region. The AbilityMap Human Capability Balance Sheet then allowed us to find three suitable roles for each individual. In many cases, working in these industries had not crossed their minds.

The SUccess

One feel-good story that we’re particularly proud of is of a person who had worked in a manufacturing packaging environment for most of her life. She kept being fired and clearly wasn’t suited to the roles. Her Ability Imprint showed an inherent capability around understanding the needs of others: listening, communicating and supporting diversity. Other strengths included evaluating risk and managing resources. Although she had never considered it, our tool suggested a role in the paramedical industry – perhaps aged care – would suit her perfectly. Using the tool and support of her coaches she took an interview and was given a role in aged care. We’re incredibly pleased to say she’s loving her new job. We’ve seen many other similar experiences and three hundred people’s lives have been changed for the better … and that’s something we are proud to be a part of.

“Although she had never considered it, our tool suggested a role in the paramedical industry – perhaps aged care – would suit her perfectly.”


Individuals will not always fulfill roles that suit their capabilities; in many cases a job is just that, a job. The implications of that are both individualistic and organisational. Retention is key within organisations and is fundamentally based on a person’s ability to enjoy, grow and succeed within a role. We often look at the idea of mobility within a corporate environment. If you could quantitatively measure an employee’s capabilities and the requirements of roles within the company, would they be fulfilling the same role? AbilityMap allows you to find out.

Do you (really) understand what you Want, Have & Need

Do you (really) understand what you Want, Have & Need

What capabilities does your company want, what capabilities does your company have and what capabilities does your company need? And what if the basic principles that underpin an organisation’s workforce planning are not fully understood, or worse, wrong?