How to Prevent Age Discrimination During the Recruitment Process

Age discrimination means stereotyping or treating someone less favorably or based on age. And while the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) exists, it only protects workers age 40 or older, and ageism unfortunately still happens in the workplace.

Thankfully, companies can help prevent age discrimination at work by focusing on inclusive recruitment and hiring processes.

Top Tips for Avoiding Discrimination During Recruitment

Even if you’re not actively being discriminatory towards older candidates, you could be sending messages discouraging older demographics from applying or unconsciously favor younger employees due to age.

The following actions can help you avoid bias while recruiting the best employees for your organization.

Keep Your Job Descriptions Inclusive

When writing your job postings, be careful about the wording. Certain words or phrases can suggest to the reader that you’re targeting a specific age group. Good examples of words to avoid include:

  • “Digital native”
  • “Rockstar”
  • “Guru”
  • “Ninja”
  • “Recent graduate”

Stay away from wording that could refer to age or age-related experience. Also, avoid listing a maximum number of years under required expertise. You don’t want to enter “overqualified” territory that has been used as a veiled form of age discrimination.

Choose Your Ads and Job Posting Locations Carefully

Where you advertise your jobs will influence who sees your postings the most. Think about whether or not the location excludes candidates above a certain age.

For example, advertising at universities or on social media could mean your postings get seen by a younger group. Make sure you are getting in front of other age groups too, and focus on background and experience over personal details.

Bring Others Into the Hiring Decision

The hiring process often involves several rounds of interviews. This is good because it involves additional managers and employees in the process. Each person can check for any possible discrimination and ensure all decisions are made based on non-discriminatory factors.

Be Upfront about Salary and Expectations

Here’s another way to avoid ageism in the workplace and recruitment process: be straightforward and honest in the job description.

Older candidates tend to be farther along in their careers, but not always. You can post your compensation range, benefits, and job requirements in the job posting, allowing candidates to decide on their own if it’s worth applying. Then, you’re not tempted to guess if an applicant is overqualified based on factors like age.

Offer More Than One Application Option

Online applications are most common now, but you could offer in-person options for applicants who are more used to that format. You don’t want to miss out on an ideal candidate just because of technology-based barriers.

Also, provide clear instructions during the interview process. Some technology used during virtual interviews can be confusing at any age, so make things easy for the applicant.

Employees have become more comfortable with seeking new horizons in their careers. The Great Resignation has encouraged workers of all ages to look for better opportunities, and everyone deserves to find the best fit — including older employees.

Unfortunately, age discrimination can still exist in the workplace, but employers are becoming more attuned to unconscious bias. These tips can help you avoid age-based discrimination and instead focus on choosing the best candidate for each position. AMG Recruitment can help you target the most suitable candidates through a strategic multi-channel approach. Learn more by contacting us today.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you adapt to the evolving recruitment landscape and ramp up your efforts, please contact us today.

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