The Age Issue

What’s In a Number?

If you have followed the job market at all you are probably familiar with the issue of age discrimination. It is real, but perhaps overblown. Or, is it? So, what is in a number? Is there some magical number for someone’s age at which they are no longer useful in the work world? Let’s look a little closer.

When Age May Matter

Suppose your company needs someone who is able to lift significant weight. It is indeed true that a younger person is more likely to meet this requirement, but that is not always the case. There are some older people who are quite strong. However, this really has to be  looked at on a case-by-case basis. If not, it is easy to miss the opportunity to hire someone who will prove invaluable. Don’t let the age issue shortchange you.

When Age May Matter – Part 2

If you need someone with significant business experience and insight, it is generally true that this will not be a younger person. But, again, this is not always true. There are younger people that have been exposed to situations that have developed their business knowledge far more than might be expected. Again, it is truly a case-by-case issue.

So What is the Conclusion

As you can see above, you rule potential employees out based on age at your own risk. You may miss the opportunity to hire a valuable employee if you use the one narrow criteria of age to screen people for consideration.

Bottom line, if you refuse to hire someone based on the age issue, you may be missing a great opportunity to hire someone who will add significant value. Don’t assume they are too young and inexperienced. Likewise, if you assume they are too old, you may be missing wisdom accumulated over many years of experience and in a wide variety of situations. Although a younger person may have more technical knowledge, they may not have wisdom that helps them decide what to do with that knowledge.

What is it like at your company? Are you using some arbitrary thing like age to decide whether to even consider someone?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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