Age diversity in the workplace is vital for many reasons, but hitting those hiring goals is often surprisingly challenging. Ageism – whether intentional or not – can cause hiring managers to overlook older candidates, leading to less age diversity.
Fortunately, there are steps companies can take to overcome age discrimination in hiring. Here are some insights into ageism and its impact on the workplace, as well as strategies for creating an age-inclusive environment.
Understanding Ageism and Its Impact on the Workplace
Ageism, in the simplest sense, is discrimination or prejudice relating to a person’s age. In the workplace, ageism usually leads to diminished opportunities for specific age groups, and while it can apply to people of any age, it more commonly harms older adults.
Usually, the most significant impact of ageism in the workplace is how it alters hiring practices and the employee experience. The professionals experiencing discrimination may get automatically passed over during recruitment processes, causing companies to miss out on their unique talents or expertise. At work, it can lead to less access to training, advancement opportunities, and chances for growth, which hinders operations. As a result, finding ways to overcome ageism is critical.
Developing a Diverse and Inclusive Hiring Process
Updating your hiring process to support diversity and inclusion is a critical step in combatting ageism. Make sure professionals of all ages know that they’re welcome by eliminating unnecessary date fields – such as birthdates or graduation dates – from standardized applications, only collecting that information when verifications are necessary. Develop age-diverse interview panels, and showcase employees from different age groups on the company’s website and social media pages. Those efforts help make your company more inviting to a wider array of professionals, making it easier to hit your diversity hiring goals.
Implementing Age-Inclusive Policies and Practices
Creating broader workplace policies and adopting practices that support professionals of all ages creates a more inclusive environment for all employees. The needs of professionals often shift as they age, but few workplaces focus on offering solutions for older adults, instead primarily concentrating on younger professionals or parents.
By considering what policies and procedures can bridge that gap, it leads to an age-inclusive culture. Workers across the board have their needs factored into the equation, ensuring they get the support they need to thrive. Plus, it makes it easier to position your company as an employer of choice, which can bolster both recruitment and retention.
Training Managers and Employees to Recognize and Prevent Age Discrimination
When it comes to overcoming any type of discrimination, information is power. Most discrimination-related training tends to focus on sexism and racism, so incorporating ageism into that training is critical if you want to improve your company’s culture.
Teach managers – including hiring managers and others – about ageism and its impact, as well as how to recognize their own conscious and unconscious biases. Additionally, make sure employees are trained to spot age discrimination should it occur, allowing them to play a role in developing a more positive culture.
Find Top Talent
If you’re ready to find a recruitment partner that can help you identify top talent across every age group, A.R. Mazzotta wants to hear from you. Request an employee from A.R. Mazzotta today.