Employers have access to more talent than ever before, with 36 million people on unemployment. But when applicants across five generations are pitching for the same jobs, how can hiring managers ensure age equity?
Most recruiters understand the importance of diverse talent pools. But what many recruiters miss is that diversity extends beyond race and gender to include age.
Creating age-equity in recruiting is more about what not to do, such as putting limits on experience in the job ad. Doing so not only dissuades more experienced workers from applying, but it could be considered age discrimination and land your company or your client in the courtroom.
You also want to avoid language such as “recent graduates” or require college graduation dates. And don’t fall into false assumptions such as older workers are not tech-savvy, or they are not salary negotiable.
As a hiring manager, your access to talent is extensive. Will you use that talent to clone a homogeneous team, or will you leverage it to create a diverse and inclusive team that exceeds your expectations?
If you think intergenerational teams are difficult to manage, you’ve been suckered into the myth. Leah Georges, Ph.D., and assistant professor and researcher at Creighton University says that across the generations, we are more similar than we are different. Her TEDx presentation, “How Generational Stereotypes Hold Us Back at Work” has more than 2.2 million views.
“All employees want work that matters, they want flexibility, they want support, they want appreciation, and they want better coffee. But none of these things are tied to a generation.”
Cloverpop, a company focused on transforming leadership performance, business innovation and employee engagement, shares research on the value of teams that include age, gender and geographic diversity. Their research indicates diverse teams make better business decisions 87 percent of the time, drive decision-making two-times faster with half the meetings and improve decision team results by 60 percent.
The result? Better overall performance and a decisive competitive advantage.
Age Equity Is a Mindset
While age inequities are often unintentional, they are commonplace and easily overlooked. With such a large generation over the age of 55 who want to work, it’s critical to recognize and address how olders may be excluded from workplace opportunities.
“There are all kinds of blind spots when it comes to age,” says Donna Fedus, gerontologist, college professor, and cofounder of Borrow My Glasses, an education company an education company dedicated to age and aging.
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