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Ageism in Hiring: Tackling the Silent Discriminator in Recruitment

Ageism in Hiring: Tackling the Silent Discriminator in Recruitment

If we are to achieve a more inclusive and diverse workplace, it is important to expose all forms of discrimination that impede this goal. In recruitment, ageism is one such silent discriminator in the business community. Despite the vast experience and valuable perspective that mature job seekers can bring, they still face age discrimination. In this blog post, we will discuss what is meant by hiring based on ageism, why it’s an issue and how to deal with it.

What is Ageism in Hiring?

Ageism in hiring refers to any act or policy of employers which discriminates against individuals on the basis of their ages while seeking employment opportunities. This may manifest via stereotypical assumptions about older candidates or as biased opinions held by recruiters towards them. Whether through adopting false stereotypes about older workers being unable to adapt to new technological systems or over-focusing on younger recruits who fit into their cultures perfectly well, numerous manifestations of age bias are illustrated in the course of recruiting employees.

Why is Ageism a Problem?

Ageism constitutes a major diversity barrier and prevents new ideas from flowing freely for everyone concerned. Job seekers feel constricted by this, which limits opportunities, stifles professional growth and leads to feelings of exclusion. For employers, there are fewer generations and ideas due to age discrimination throughout the creation process.

Age discrimination also violates equal opportunity employment laws. This type of prejudice is often disregarded, but that does not mean it’s less harmful or inequitable.

How Can We Combat Ageism in Hiring?

  1. Raise Awareness: The first step towards combating ageism is recognising its existence. Organisations need to educate their hiring teams and managers about age discrimination and the negative beliefs that surround older workers.

  2. Review Job Descriptions: Employers must ensure that their job posts and descriptions are inclusive of all ages. Expressions such as “digital native” or wanting a “young and vibrant team” can unknowingly be discriminatory.

  3. Inclusive Policies and Practices: Companies should have practices and policies that include people of all ages, e.g., flexible work hours, opportunities for employees to upgrade skills, and application processes that do not focus on age.

  4. Age Diversity: Employers must actively seek age diversity in their teams. This will help create an inclusive work culture where everyone’s experiences are appreciated.

  5. Legislation and Regulation: Enforcement of laws against employment practices that discriminate against workers because of their age is crucial. Applicants should be aware of their rights as well as protections against such forms of discrimination.

In conclusion, addressing recruitment ageism does not only mean giving older job seekers equal chances; it means enriching our organisations with diverse experiences and perspectives. For job seekers, realising that there is bias due to age discrimination in our society is a step towards creating a more equitable labour market. Finally, your age is not your constraint; it shows how far you have come from day one to today, enriching yourself with voluminous experiences which you bring on board.