In a wide-ranging article in Mic James Dennin goes deep on the issues of age bias and discrimination in the workplace.
His research finds that there seems to be a cliff in the 50s when a worker’s experience no longer serves as a benefit, but as a detriment to being hired and earning more money. Employers may see experience as either expensive or a sign that the candidate is behind the times.
There is agreement that age diverse teams are more effective. Even so many organizations are aware of the embedded ageism in hiring, but it is often unrecognized when it’s happening. Some companies are taking steps to remove the triggers that reinforce the bias such as conducting interviews first by phone or using skills-based evaluations.
There are some assumptions that older workers are less tech savvy but research is finding this to be false. Skills are obsolete much faster in a tech-focused world, so it’s true that everyone needs to stay up to date. The practice of overlooking older workers is especially pronounced in the tech sector. Much has been written about this and there is some movement in changing it, but when it’s unspoken and hard to pinpoint the progress is slow.
There is well documented and controversial advice to hide experience over 10-15 years old and thereby age during interviews.
Dennin quotes Kerry Hannon, a career counselor and author of Getting the Job You Want After 50 For Dummies who sees the ingrained stereotypes that make it easier for hiring managers to excuse the ageist practices.
“They don’t have the stamina. They aren’t up to speed with technology, they’re set in their ways and not be open to other ideas. Or that they’ll be resentful of a younger boss. And that they’re too expensive,” Hannon said. “On many levels, I think everyone is guilty of this, even if it’s subconscious.”
One recruiting software company, Greenhouse, is experimenting with tools that remove certain information about a candidate or remind hiring managers about age bias during the interviews. It’s a step in the right direction.
Find the full article here: Older Workers are Consistently Discriminated Against in Job Hiring — Here’s How We Can Fix That
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