Age in the workforce
This is an issue that gets brought up regularly, from both ends of the spectrum. Whether you are young, therefore don’t have the experience of an older candidate or you are more mature and struggling to compete with younger candidates, candidates tell me that age is a factor in recruitment.
Obviously discriminating against someone based on their age is illegal and morally wrong, however I have seen unconscious biases that can mean younger or older people can find it harder to compete with candidates who are in the prime of their working life.
The perception of more mature candidates can be that they are close to the end of their career and won’t be able to commit as much time to an organisation or bring as much energy and enthusiasm to a role. As an employer however, there are several huge benefits to bringing in a more mature employee. Firstly, their wealth or knowledge is obviously superior to someone with less time in the workforce and they can have a more mature, calm, steady approach. Given the age of retirement it getting later and later, older candidates may well be able to give an organisation just as much time as someone younger would commit. They are also less likely to be using this opportunity as a stepping stone to their next role and may be quite happy to work out the remainder of their career in the same role providing the employer with stability and reliability.
If you are an older person struggling to secure a role there are a few tips that may help you get over the line. I am never an advocate of leaving roles off your CV, however if you have an exceptionally long career with many different roles, grouping a number of earlier roles together with a general description rather than listing each role can be a useful approach. Once you do get to an interview using words like energy, enthusiasm and passion, explaining to the interviewer your future ambitions, making it clear you plan to work for a number of years and if it’s true, interest to potentially climb a rung up the organisation.
For a younger person the opposite could be said, that they will move on without contributing enough to the organisation, be a destabilising force with other staff and have more outlets outside of work that may distract from their ability to do a role. However as with mature staff, bringing in youth can provide another valuable perspective to round out other viewpoints. There is an energy and vibrance brought by youth that can certainly help energise a workplace.
As a young person trying to secure a role, it is important to make your commitment to the role clear should you be interviewed. Acknowledge that you have much to learn and plan to take the opportunity to acquire knowledge from those around you and grow with the role and organisation. Displaying a maturity beyond your years and acknowledging gaps in your knowledge with a strategy for gaining that knowledge in a timely manner will help allay any anxieties an employer may have.
Ultimately having a diversity of age, gender, culture and approaches does nothing but good for an organisation. If you are struggling to secure a role and feel there is a barrier to your success, or an organisation trying to diversify your team, contact us via email@example.com and we can work together to help you overcome it and begin your new future.