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Saturday, 11 November 2017 21:41

Age Does Not Weary Them

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Legislation has been introduced to prevent discrimination in employment on a range of characteristics.  One of the most significant of these is age.
The aim of the legislation is to prevent decisions being made in employment matters on grounds that are irrelevant to the likely work performance of the individual. 

Unfortunately, age remains one of the characteristics most difficult to combat as a source of discrimination.  So many things have hinged on age throughout an individual's life, that it is difficult not to use age information in a comparative way.  In newspapers for example, it was customary to include an individual's age with their name under their photograph until very recently, when this served no useful purpose whatever.

One of the most concerning issues in age discrimination is that business as well as the individual misses out on a great opportunity.  In speaking recently to a forty-eight year old job candidate, I found him to be very frustrated purely by the age discrimination factor. 

This person was extremely well presented, energetic, innovative and had a range of very good skills in industrial sales which I know are much sought after and much needed in a variety of industries.  "I found myself being interviewed by a  Sales Managers under 30 and I could see in their eyes the words: "Why doesn't this old guy just retire and get out of the way?" he said. "Most of the time though I do not even get an interview".

There are organisations that recognise the value of extensive experience as well as the fact that extensive experience cannot be obtained in a short period of time.  One client recently stipulated the need for a person over 40 to fill a particular management job vacancy. 

Even this statement was, of course, a breach of the legislation.  However, what they really meant was that they required someone with a minimum of 15 years management experience.  Nevertheless, the outcome was the same and twenty years of sound management experience was brought into play in an organisation that will benefit greatly from acquiring someone with this level of skill.

Business can benefit greatly from correctly applying the substantial experience that more senior job candidates can bring into their organisation.  However, business managers and owners need to recognise where this experience can be used.  They also must have the wisdom and courage to go against a still prevailing wind that blows in favour of youth and assumed vitality.  The key issue must be the skills required for the job and a selection process based on job relevant criteria.

This article was written by Dr Karel deLaat. http://www.kareldelaat.com/


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Read 663 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 December 2017 14:53

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