The time is now to get rid of the “us and them” mentality. Age doesn’t dictate wisdom, experience, sensibility or talent. Unfortunately, the job market tells us otherwise. Have you been told any of the following by a recruiter or hiring manager?
- You might want to “dumb down” your resume.
- You will “do” for someone your age.
- You will be bored.
- I’m afraid this position will not fulfill you.
- Your energy is too high/low.
- We cannot afford you because of your experience.
Here’s a snapshot of the top reasons companies won’t hire workers over 50, and why those reasons just don’t make sense.
Salary and Budget Considerations
Companies ASSUME a younger worker will accept a lower paycheck, according to a LinkedIn article, “Why Won’t Companies Hire Workers Over 50?”
How does a company know what any of our financial situations look like? Why is it acceptable to downsize your home but not your job?
There are those who might not place such significance on job title or responsibilities. Think for a moment that the over 50 crowd may want to help a company succeed by mentoring, nurturing and guiding the younger worker. Seems like a win-win to me.
Stereotypes About Older Workers
Companies ASSUME their skills are rusty and that a recent college graduate has up-to-date training, the LinkedIn article stated.
I worked with a young man who was brilliant and a finance major, but he didn’t know how to turn his Out of Office on in Outlook. He was embarrassed to ask anyone for fear of looking inadequate, but felt comfortable coming to me. Certainly, a teachable moment!
The reverse is also true: he was able to help me when I needed extra help with Pivot tables in Excel.
Concerns About Longevity
This is my personal favorite. According to the LinkedIn article referenced above, companies ASSUME workers over 50 are closer to retirement and they don’t want to use their training resources on them.
As someone who had to face job loss during the recession a decade ago and then again during the current pandemic, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Financially, many of us are playing catchup. Beyond that, we’re not dinosaurs; we’re vibrant, health-conscious, loyal and dependable.
In this ever-changing landscape where entire departments are created for diversity and inclusion, it seems that more can be done to focus on the INCLUSION of the “chronologically mature” employee and all the marvelous skills we bring to the table.
At the end of the day, your company should have a healthy demographic balance that INCLUDES everyone.
How do you go about achieving that balance? Stop the self-identifying checkboxes on job applications that cause people to second-guess whether to choose to identify or not.
Hire the person, not the resume.
This article was originally published by Women in Retail Leadership Circle’s sister brand, Women Leading Travel & Hospitality.