Attracting and retaining talent is more challenging than ever before. Companies are faced with a changing workforce and new philosophies surrounding work ethics that can be hard to adjust to. A big mistake companies make when hiring is to focus on younger candidates, recent graduates, and millennials. Although it might seem like you are recruiting the brightest and the best, it is very likely limiting your team and hurting your business.
Age is becoming more prominent in hiring for a number of reasons. First, people are staying in the workforce longer. In fact, workers over 65 are the fastest-growing segment of the labor force. Second, there is a growing skills gap in most industries as the digital age sees technology outpacing the skill set of most companies. New tech and fewer learning opportunities make it harder for employees to remain up to date.
The skills gap and ever-evolving technology lead many companies to view millennials or “digital natives” as more desirable because they bring basic technical knowledge to the mix since they grew up in the digital age. Older candidates are “digital migrants,” who had to transition into the digital age. So, many recruiters misconceive older candidates as outdated for many of today’s changing job roles.
Age discrimination or ageism is more prevalent than many people might imagine. According to research findings by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, those between ages 29 and 31 received 35 percent more callbacks in the application process than those aged 64 to 66. That is within talent pools where candidates shared the same skills and qualifications.