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Age bias —3 examples in recruitment and how to avoid it

Often, the labor market isn’t quite similar society. Some groups of people are underrepresented. Older workers are one of those groups. And age bias is responsible for this. In short, it means that companies—although often unintentionally—discriminate when it comes to the age of applicants. In recruitment, we see this happen very early on in the process. Job descriptions regularly discourage older people from applying. This happens in a number of different ways. It’s a real shame because older workers bring a lot of experience to your company. Diverse companies also perform better and are more innovative. All the more reason to remove age bias from the recruitment process.

 

3 examples of age bias in recruitment

Age bias in recruitment starts with the job descriptions companies publish. There are a number of different ways age discrimination sneaks in here:

  • The language used
    A lot of job descriptions contain words that older people don’t identify with. Think of words like energetic and vibrant. These might give older workers the impression that you are looking for someone younger. Try to use more neutral words instead. Words that appeal to people of all ages.
  • The experience asked
    When it comes to experience, you should describe in neutral terms the kind of experience you’re looking for. Refrain from using numbers. Because listing a maximum number of years of experience will discourage older people from applying. They probably have a lot more experience than the 10 years you listed.
  • The necessary qualifications
    Be careful with the qualifications you list in your job description as well. Only list the qualifications that are absolutely necessary for the job. We often see graduates listed as a qualification. This might give older workers the impression the job is not meant for them.

 

Use Textmetrics to avoid age bias in recruitment

Above are three examples of age bias in job descriptions. In particular, the language used can be a challenge to get right. Because what are age-neutral words, so to speak? At Textmetrics, we offer a platform that can help you to eliminate age bias from your job descriptions. It’s very easy to use. The platform gives you suggestions while you’re writing. For example, words that discourage older candidates from applying are highlighted. You can replace these with words that appeal to everyone. These alternatives are suggested to prevent any form of discrimination. As a result, your job descriptions will be free of age bias. And you’ll receive applications from people of all ages.

Want to try Textmetrics? Click here for a free trial!

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