February 27, 2023

Signs that you’re ageist in your hiring


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

(and may not even know it.)

Real talk: I don’t think most hiring leaders intend to discriminate against older job seekers. But it still happens. Often without batting an eye.

We’re creatures of habit. And hiring is a pain in the a$$. So when people find a system that they think “works” they tend to stick to it.

The problem comes when you evaluate older workers the same way you do younger workers. Mistakenly thinking their motivations are the same.

Common examples of this:

👉”They could do my job.”

If you ever interview someone so impressive that you feel threatened, GOOD. That’s who you want. 

People who can teach you a thing or two. And be able to step in and do your job, so you can move onto something else.

Viewing others as a threat to your status? That’s what needs to change.

👉”They might retire in 5 years.”

This is a win. Average tenure nowadays (depending on the study and parameters) is around 3 years. Someone who wants to contribute and is past the ladder climbing phase of their career takes turnover risk off the table.

👉”They’ll be hard to promote.” 

I don’t know why people get hung up on this: Not everyone wants to be the CEO. Everyone reading this will top out on the career ladder some day.

Not because they aren’t good. Or can’t learn and do more. But because they’re satisfied and enjoy their work.

Which is literally what you want in a hire. Someone who shows up, does the work, is fulfilled, and won’t jump at the next shiny object.

👉”They’ll get bored. There won’t be enough challenges.”

Look, watching paint dry is boring for everyone. Not certain everyones. For everything else, boredom typically gets associated with repetitive tasks.

Here’s an idea: hire someone who actually enjoys those repetitive tasks. Because they’ve done them before. And still want to. (Mind blowing stuff, I know.)

Just some thoughts, in case you catch yourself saying any of that…

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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