As a leading staffing agency, we understand that ageism in the workplace diversity is a frequent topic of discussion in the HR industry. Hiring from different races, cultural backgrounds, and genders is a notable quotient. But have you ever considered the ages of your candidates?

If you are avoiding hiring or promoting older employees, you are likely missing out on a segment of your workforce that has a lot of experience and who will probably stay with the company longer than their younger staff members. They have a more developed work ethic; they understand the dynamics of workplace culture and are far more motivated to excel at their work.

In addition, your teams will suffer without a generational perspective. However, this does not preclude age discrimination, either in hiring or in any other aspect of employment.

Ageism in the Workplace is More Common Thank You Think

There are laws that prohibit discrimination based on age. Despite this, age prejudice is rampant in the American workplace.

In a 2018 study conducted by AARP, 45 percent of older workers stated that they believed they would be unable to find another job because of age discrimination. Other studies show that, despite having the right qualifications, older individuals were not getting callbacks from interviews at the same rate as their younger counterparts.

A 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found that only eight percent of companies planned to address age as an element of their diversity hiring strategy. But if nobody complains or files a formal complaint, will anything change?

If you want to benefit from age diversity in your company, here are some ideas on how to approach the issue.

1)  Ensure your diversity plan includes age

If you don’t have age on your radar, you probably won’t address the issue. If you have a diversity plan, make sure age is part of it. Age diversity leads to higher productivity, lower turnover, and better overall performance within the organization.

2)  Be mindful of how you word your job descriptions

The wording in your job descriptions can be a deterrent. For example, instead of saying “digital natives,” you could instead state a “proficiency in digital skills,” or a “track record in mastering new tools.” Clearly and accurately describe the position without any limiting adjectives, and don’t be afraid to post the salary range.

3)  Include images of workers of all ages on your website, and your marketing collateral

If your company is looking to hire for age-diversity, you should include images of all ages on your website and other recruiting outreach materials. When an older candidate sees people their age, it will indicate that you actually do want them to apply.

4)  Focus on core skills and qualifications

If an applicant meets your needs in terms of skills and qualifications, then they are a viable candidate and should be considered – no matter what their age.

5)  Don’t make assumptions

You can’t judge a book by its cover. On the same token, you can’t assume that a person is either overqualified or ready to pack it in completely. Ask them why they are excited about the position before you jump to conclusions about why they are applying.

Serving as an award-winning staffing agency, Professional Alternatives provides hiring support for companies and job seekers within the finance industry. Reach out today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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