Leontien Rutenfrans

Marketing Manager Textmetrics
February 16, 2022

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Examples of age bias in the recruitment process

Age discrimination has no place in a diverse and inclusive company. Unfortunately, though, age bias is not something we rarely see. It’s one of the things that keeps companies from reaching their diversity and inclusion goals. Age discrimination arises in various different situations in the workplace. It’s most troublesome in the recruitment process. Do you rarely hire aged workers because they feel excluded by your job ads? Then you’ll never have a diverse workforce. What challenges do older employees face when they are looking for a new job? And how can you prevent age bias from slipping into the recruitment process?


Examples of age bias experienced by older workers

In the recruitment process, age bias presents itself in several ways. It all begins with the job descriptions recruiters write. Age bias is very common here, although obviously not done intentionally. Still, aged workers have to face the following challenges:

  • Language used.  In job ads, you can unintentionally use language that appeals only to younger candidates. What do you think happens when older workers read that a candidate has to be “energetic”? Chances are that they won’t feel spoken to. It’s one of the many words that has a “young feel” to it. While reading these, older candidates get the impression that“this is not meant for me.”
  • Maximum number of years of experience. A lot of jobs require a certain number of years of experience. But why would you mention a maximum number of years of experience? Can someone be too experienced? For older candidates, it’s a sign that they aren’t the one you’re looking for.
  • Qualifications.  A list of qualifications only has to mention the skills candidates really need for a job. Often, though, it contains things that exclude aged workers. Here’s an example: “We are looking for graduates”. You might not mean that you only want people who have just graduated. But older workers will think that you do.


Prevent age bias in job ads using Textmetrics

Age bias in the recruitment process is troublesome. You need to hire people of all ages to build a diverse workforce. Textmetrics offers a platform that you can use to write job ads that are free of age discrimination. The platform gives you suggestions while you’re writing. Words that discourage aged 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.

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

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