How Ageist Are You?

Imagine you need to hire someone to join your Sales team.

2 CV’s of the same calibre and experience are submitted to you, however one of the candidates was born in 1957 and the other 1987. What are your first thoughts?

It is natural to create assumptions and stereotypes based on every aspect of a person- especially their age.  We presume that if someone is in their twenties or thirties they are more actively capable, technologically advanced and quick thinking, compared to those in their fifties or sixties who we see anticipating their retirement.

Are these assumptions helpful or do they prohibit us from giving people a chance in new opportunities?

1. Everyone is investing in new skills

People of all ages are investing in education and development of skills and a lot of older talent have developed their skills through their careers – including use of technology and new software.  The majority of people keep maintaining skills and this does not significantly decline with age.

2. Being positive is not age restricting

Attitude and positivity is not restricted by age, and this includes being positive about your work environment, targets and development.  Positivity is partially down to the company and the culture within to keep employees upbeat and positive- despite age.

3. Older people are not more exhausted

One of the reason’s lots of companies prefer younger talent is that they presume that older people have less energy and drive to hunt for deals.  There is a study that showed more people under the age of 45 (43%) said they were exhausted than those over 45 (35%) – the least exhausted are those over 60. (Reference)

These points (as well as numerous others) are more crucial than ever when considering someone as a candidate for a role. When corporations believe that older workers invest less in their knowledge, are less excited by their work and exploring their world, and are on a path to physical decline and exhaustion, they make the wrong decisions about whom to select, promote and develop.

There are differences across age groups in every work place however our stereotype views don’t help with understanding individuals and broadening our searches for the best talent available.