Ageism is the systematic stereotyping of people because they are older and the discrimination against them, whether intentional or inadvertent. Older adults are categorized as experienced, polite, and thoughtful on the one hand, but also old-fashioned, rigid, and lacking in technical skills. The current job market still considers these stereotypes, making it very tough for older applicants to get an interview even when their skill sets match. Can AI help make a difference here and support more inclusive recruiting?
Many organizations have increased the retirement age, and some companies even restrict early retirement options. Many workers are willing and able to contribute over the course of a long career. However, the job opportunities for 50+ are bleak. While we have labor laws that protect more senior employees, ageism and age discrimination still acts to discourage career growth and new opportunities for them.
Age discrimination in hiring:
No one wants to be biased, but it is something recruiters may do unknowingly when searching for the best candidates. When you hire through job boards and use phrases like ‘recent college graduate’ or ‘digital native,’ you may be turning away highly qualified candidates without knowing it. An older worker who sees phrases like those often sees this as a rejection letter before they even apply. You could miss the perfect candidate! Despite clear guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), these terms still appear frequently in job postings, potentially exposing your company to legal action. Age-Biased Language Persists in Job Postings (aarp.org)
Age discrimination is not only illegal; it’s also bad business. Older workers make up a large and growing percentage of experienced job seekers. By using these phrases, you’re shrinking your talent pool and missing out on talent who could quickly move your business forward.
Older workers say they’re discouraged from applying for jobs due to age factors and narrow job descriptions that mention “recent college graduates.” According to Dice Diversity and Inclusion Survey, around 42% of those who belong to Generation X feel ageism is affecting their ability to land a job and earn a living.
It’s time to do away with that mindset and develop a richer, more inclusive talent pool.
Inclusive hiring starts with us:
Machines don’t inherently have bias built into them. AI can enable a more inclusive pipeline of candidates, helping companies consider older employees who might have gone unnoticed in manual searches. However, the whole idea of AI is to model the behavior of humans, and if humans continue to discriminate based on age, the AI may continue to reflect that. So the first step is to be more aware of how we discriminate and model more inclusive behaviors. AI tools also get smarter as people engage them, and when we include older candidates in our pipeline, the data system will learn and remember the pattern to reduce bias.
AI can support your inclusion program:
At Leoforce, we built the Arya AI platform to support objective and diverse recruiting, free of subjective biases with limited individual achievement. Our data scientists and engineers built an AI that doesn’t allow searching based on age or gender; as its users adopt more inclusive patterns, it becomes even better at supporting your diversity goals. Isn’t that wonderful!
Should we direct to our diversity and inclusion blog?
We believe everyone should enjoy equal opportunities, and what you bring to the table should be irrespective of age or any other biases. Arya, our recruiting technology is refined by our many clients every day as they perform searches for a job position. Our commitment is to deliver the best-fit candidates for every job, regardless of age or any other discriminatory factor.
Try a demo to see how you best-fit candidates with your desired skillsets!