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Learn how HR can effectively fight age discrimination

Learn the reasons behind age discrimination and how HR can fight it.
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The majority of employees over 45 years old who are looking for a job claim to have witnessed or experienced age discrimination at work.

The subtle forms of age discrimination

Few talent recruiters would dare to tell a candidate that he is ‘old’ for a job, however they resort to the use euphemisms such as:

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The organization is searching for ‘digital natives’.

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The wage offered is too low or is aimed at recent graduates.

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Candidates for the job should not have more than 10 years of experience.

The 3 most common reasons for age discrimination

According to an Urban Institute investigation, age bias causes:

  • Concern for the cost: there is a perception that older people will demand higher wages and special compensation plans.
  • Insecurity for training older workers: it is believed that training them may be unprofitable for the company, because they could retire before the investment in their training is recovered.
  • Prejudice against the elder, who are not familiar with new technologies and lack updated skills.

HR actions to avoid age discrimination

Wage equality

  • It’s fair that an older person earns less money than a younger person, if they are new to the job.
  • Design compensation schemes based on experience and skills that generate value for the company.

Promote the benefits of age diverse work teams

  • Teams with different age members are safer and innovative.
  • Seniors can provide a sense of security and wisdom to the team.

Grant management and mentoring roles

  • More experienced employees are apt to take leadership positions, since their knowledge can be seen as an investment or an asset.
  • The value of an experienced collaborator can be reflected in the training of the younger workers.

Teach HR staff how to recruit older people

  • HR can invite employees who have already retired to share their experience or to collaborate again.
  • Train and teach recruiters to identify age prejudices and how to eradicate them.

Reverse mentoring plans

  • Younger employees can help to manage and train older workers, who have their own prejudices as well.