t of the way for their walker as it may have many years ago. People over 50 today are vibrant, energetic and more like the 35-45 year old age bracket of 10 years ago. Employers need to be reminded that the adage of "age = wisdom" is alive and well and that experience matters.
40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA’s protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. The ADEA permits employers to favor older workers based on age even when doing so adversely affects a younger worker who is 40 or older.
While the law is clear, there is plenty of debate about whether or not it is consistently applied and enforced. Every person has their own biases and if they believe something negative about a particular trait, then that is how they form their opinions and make decisions.
I do agree ageism is an unfortunate issue, but not one that is necessarily as severe and rampant as some might choose to believe. Most employers truly do seek the best qualified person for the job regardless of their physical characteristics. Those that don’t are probably not worth worrying about because that would just be one sign of a dysfunctional organization.
My (possibly not – PC) take on this is that – YES, there are individuals who discriminate based on age and many other irrelevant factors. However, when it comes to age, I don’t necessarily believe it has to do with actual age as much as perceptions about a person being, acting, looking or speaking like an “old” person. What I mean by this is in the simplest terms is “image is everything.”
I routinely encounter people who have convinced themselves that “age” is the reason they are having a tough time regaining employment. While that may be a factor in certain cases, my objective assessment of their demeanor, mannerisms, conversation topics, etc, suggests that either they are conducting themselves in such a way that they subconsciously make age a focus, when it may not have otherwise been. Or, they are failing to consider that hiring decisions are based on multiple criteria and most of the final selection phase is subjective, intangible “fit” and gut feel. It could be something entirely trivial or arbitrary that puts the final choice at the top and may have absolutely nothing to do with that person’s or anyone else’s age.
The other element that comes into play with the ageism topic is compensation. Usually, the further along one is in their career, the higher their salary tends to be.
With the economy in such a down trend for so long, employers are seeking the most cost-effective ways to remain viable. Whether accurate or not, many equate experience with expensive. And in those cases, it doesn’t mean they are ageist, just prudent. Blaming ageism becomes a convenient excuse for those not hired to dwell on it rather that taking proactive steps to increase their appeal and attractiveness to other potential employers.
This is definitely a controversial topic and one that will likely be with us forever. My advice to job seekers of any age is to focus on representing yourself well (on paper, online and in person) and customize your message to your target audience. Pay attention to making the most of what is in your control and ignore the stuff that isn’t worthy of your attention. My recommendation to employers is to source, screen and select the best available talent to serve the needs of your organization.…
r age, gender etc.
Employers wants high performers. High performance at work is not a factor of age. High performance at work is a combination of technical skills, behavioural competencies and motivation.
ALL recruiters and hiring managers should focus on these three components of a person they are interviewing and not their age.…