How to Avoid Ageism When Hiring

Julie Shenkman
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Age discrimination is an issue that affects employers, employees and job candidates. Unfortunately, some hiring managers do not know that their hiring practices reflect ageism, and this can lead to serious issues. If you want to avoid age discrimination when hiring new employees, you must realize what actions and attitudes can help you prevent ageism.

Look at the Benefits of Mature Employees

If you want to avoid age discrimination and prevent it from affecting your hiring practices, you must learn to see the benefits of hiring older employees. Many businesses believe that young candidates are more capable due to their youth, but this is inaccurate. Older employees offer more experience that can entail greater skill when fulfilling tasks at work, and they are often more knowledgeable about an industry if they have been working in it for some time. Mature job candidates may even grow to become inspiring leaders on a workforce.

Ask Job-Related Questions Only

It is essential to ask job-related questions during the interview if you want to avoid age discrimination when seeking the right job candidate. Asking a candidate about his birth date, the age of his children or other questions that can be traced to one’s actual age is a no-no. Asking candidates if they graduated high school is acceptable, but asking them what year they graduated high school can be denoted as ageism.

Utilize a Fair Hiring Process

Develop a solid structure for evaluating every job candidate, and stick to the same criteria for every individual seeking employment with the company to avoid age discrimination. Make sure that hiring managers are familiar with age discrimination laws. Utilize a panel of interviewers in different age ranges as well to bring a balanced perspective to the hiring panel.

Aim to Create an Age-Diverse Workforce

Making sure to hire a team of qualified individuals of all ages is a good way to maintain a diverse workplace that is free of ageism. A company could be seen as discriminatory if it hires only employees of a certain age range, so national human resources boards recommend that companies employ people of all ages. Doing so creates a balanced workplace, and your company can give all capable job candidates a fair chance.

Educate Everyone

All members of your human resources department must know what ageism and be able to identify the stereotypes and practices that signify it. Hiring managers can receive specialized training so that they understand ageism and the proper methods to avoid age discrimination in the hiring process. Let existing employees know what their rights are to show that the company supports them and condemns ageism.

Making the mistake of judging a client based on her age is an act of discrimination, and it can make your business appear unethical. It is essential to avoid age discrimination to protect your company’s reputation and prevent legal action from being taken against your business. Be mindful and fair in your hiring processes, and you can gain valuable employees, no matter how young or old they are.


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