While the notion of ageism is diminishing in many corners of the work world, the issue of whether or not certain age groups should be excluded from the workforce persists. While some workers feel they should be removed from the workforce, others feel that it is up to them to prove their worth by proving that they have the skills and experience to do the job.
Ultimately, whether age should be a barrier for a given job is up to each individual and will vary from person to person. Although most employers would state their openness to a wide range of employees within the acceptable working age for jobs and positions available within their company, yet create non-suitable criteria to cut them off.
An example is a job criterion asking for a wide range of experiences for people in their 20-30s. It is common to see most jobs requiring years of experience to streamline the younger people in their 20s and make people in their 50s outliers for the job role. The truth is, the majority of employees in their 40-50s are outliers because of the experiences gathered over the years.
And these sentiments reveal the differing perceptions across generations of what is more important in the recruitment process – technological skills or work experience. The cost of hiring employees is getting higher. Employers and recruiters often have to pay three to five times as much to find qualified applicants who are 50 years old than to find applicants in their early 20s.
This is because older applicants have more experience, are better-developed in knowledge and skill, and are less likely to have better-than-average health issues (the biggest deterrent to hiring the young).
But the question is, should age be a barrier when it comes to hiring? What about creating avenues for the development of young employees? Criteria based on talent, willingness, dedication, ability to learn, and proffer a solution?
The truth is, the nature of jobs and solutions has shifted over the years, and sometimes experiences are not just enough anymore. The skills, ability to think outside the box, and willingness to go the extra mile are essential in getting the job done.
We say, why not throw it open and let the best man win with prejudice and favoritism? And this is without a doubt saying that some roles require a certain level of expertise and experience.
Make your recruitment processes as flexible as possible. Build your criteria more on the company's values and need.