Koen Brummelhuis

Customer Success Manager
December 10, 2021

View all blogs


How to recognize age bias in job descriptions

Age bias is more common than you might think. Especially in job descriptions. Age bias often unintentionally slips into the job descriptions that recruiters write. And it’s older people who are usually discouraged from applying. Through the sentences and words used in these job ads. This exclusion is discriminatory, even if it happens unintentionally.

Besides, why would you want to exclude older people? They typically have a lot to offer in terms of experience and skills. Ageism is a real no-go. But how do you recognize age bias in job descriptions?


Age bias in job descriptions

Although mostly unintentionally, there are ways to recognize age bias in job descriptions.

  • Use of phrases like ‘start-up atmosphere’ or ‘vibrant person sought for young company’

Sentences like the ones above paint a certain picture in an applicant’s head of what the company is like. And what the average age is of the people who work there. How old do you think people working there are? Younger than 40? Or maybe even younger than 30? It’s safe to say that older people will feel reluctant to apply. 


  • Naming a limited number of years of experience

We sometimes see that a candidate needs to have 3 to 5 years of experience. Or 7 to 10 years. Mentioning a number of years is understandable. It does exclude people, though. Older people with a lot more experience probably won’t apply. And the same goes for young people who have just graduated.


  • Stating that you’re looking for digital natives

The term ‘digital native’ is one we tend to hear a lot lately. It refers to people who are comfortable with technology from an early age. So, older people probably won’t identify with this term.


How Textmetrics can prevent age bias in job descriptions

Age bias is discriminative and should be avoided. So, the ageism that slips into job descriptions needs to be prevented. Instead, job ads should encourage people of all ages to apply. The Textmetrics platform helps you do that by giving you suggestions while you’re writing. It signals words or sentences you shouldn’t use because they discourage older or younger candidates from applying. And it offers you suggestions for alternatives to prevent any form of discrimination. 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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