When we think about ageism in the workplace we automatically consider older workers. Every week we hear stories about professionals struggling to find new roles over the age of 50. But this discrimination can have a huge effect on the younger generation too. Millennials are frequently overlooked for senior roles due to their age (despite how experienced they may be).
Age discrimination is, of course, illegal in Ireland and the UK but the problem is, many recruiters and hiring managers might not realise that they are biased towards a certain age group.
So, how we protect talent from this unconscious bias and grow a more diverse organisation? The following steps will help.
Think about where you post your roles
Where you advertise your jobs can make a huge difference to who sees them. Without realising it you might be excluding a whole age group. For example, younger generations are less likely to read a classified ad in your local newspaper. Whereas older generations won’t browse jobs on a university campus notice board.
The internet is one of the best places to post jobs as it’s accessible to everyone. If you’re putting your ads on social media make sure that they are not targeted to a specific age demographic.
Always advertise salary
The reason for this is simple. Many employers dismiss experienced candidates because they presume that they will want a higher salary. To avoid any speculation, always put the salary (or at least an indicator) on your job specs. That way you will know that any applicants to the role are happy with the figure offered.
Work on your interview process
Obviously, you should avoid questions like, ”What age are you?” and ”When do you think you will retire?” But you should also consider removing the more subtle ”date of birth” from your job application forms.
When it comes to the interview itself use a mixed-age panel were possible. Make sure that everyone who interviews candidates is familiar with age discrimination laws. Come up with a structure for evaluating job candidates, and apply the same criteria to all applicants.
Use workers of various ages in all marketing material
Include a diverse range of ages in your website photos, Jobbio pics and recruitment materials. If you do not have a multi-generational workplace already, take pictures from the internet. When job seekers see people like them represented in these materials, they are much more likely to apply.