Hiring in the Age of Ageism

Hiring in the Age of Ageism

As we’ve discussed in previous articles, older workers are not only good for businesses, but may indeed be the future of the workforce. You can catch up on those ideas here and here. While its great to keep your existing older workers happy and engaged, it’s also important to find and hire new employees from older generations.

Hiring has always been a tricky business, but it can get even stickier when age is involved. It’s vital for businesses to change the way the recruit and to not only be aware of but also root out age biases.

How can your business achieve these goals? Use these tips for hiring in the age of ageism.

  • Multimedia Approaches – LinkedIn, Indeed and even Craigslist are great for hiring. However, as handy as they may be, sticking to these newer talent acquisition tools may not attract older candidates. Your business will reach and be more appealing to older workers if you use a multimedia approach. Post ads in both web and print industry publications, and try adding LinkedIn groups for experienced professionals. You can also investigate AARP’s Back to Work 50+ program that connects hiring businesses with older workers.
  • Rethink Your Hiring Brand – You may be unconsciously excluding older workers with how you present your company when hiring. For example, take a look at the photos in your hiring materials. Are they all younger people? Maybe you can add pictures of older workers, too. Also be sure to make it clear that all ages are welcome to apply. This branding issue may also go deeper than just pictures. If you find yourself thinking, “I need a younger person for this job,” consider how it would make you feel if you substituted “younger” for “white” or “man.” Not great. The AARP has resources and programs to help with rebranding. You can also check out the Senior Community Service Employment Program for more assistance.
  • Flexibility – Similar to rethinking your hiring brand, your business also needs to make it clear that you’re willing to be flexible for older workers. This may include training, telecommuting, part-time office hours, wellness programs, and continued education funding.
  • Redefine Your Business Culture – Just like you may need to rethink your hiring brand, you also may need to revamp your business’s culture to make it more welcoming and accessible to older workers. You can start small by doing things like making mentor programs for younger and older workers to connect, or making sure your department teams have age diversity.
  • Redo Retirement Policies – Older workers may not want to retire now, but they might want to in the future. Therefore, to be attractive to older employees, your business should have a more modern approach to retirement. One out-of-the-box idea is job sharing, when two people that work part-time share one job. You could also investigate phased retirement, when a worker systematically decreased work hours over time.

It may seem overwhelming to revamp your hiring practices to be more inclusive of different ages. However, if you start small with steps like these, you’ll be hiring older workers like a pro in no time.

How are you hiring in the age of ageism? Share below!

Look out for more helpful business articles coming soon.

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