Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Hiring managers are avoiding Gen Z, seniors

Indepth


Hiring managers are avoiding Gen Zers due to lack of experience, their unprofessional attitude, and due to their tendency to job hop, a new survey has shown.

The survey carried out by ResumeBuilder.com and surveyed 1,000 hiring managers to understand the prevalence of ageism in the workplace in 2024, also revealed that 50% of hiring managers have doubts about Gen Z’s reliability, and 46% question their work ethic.

In 2022, hiring managers also raised concerns about younger employees. For candidates under the age of 25, 40% worried about job hopping, 39% about their lack of experience, and 33% their reliability.

Of hiring managers who have age bias against Gen Z, 46% say it’s beneficial to the company to avoid hiring Gen Z candidates.

“Our surveys have shed light on the reasons behind managers’ reluctance to embrace Gen Z, often citing concerns about their lack of experience, professional skills, and tendency for high turnover rates,” says Haller. “Much of this sentiment has been exacerbated by the challenges posed by the pandemic, which has disrupted how entry-level candidates learn how to be successful in the workplace.”

“Unlike previous generations, Gen Zers may not have had the same opportunities to acquire foundational skills through on-the-job learning due to remote work arrangements. Many companies and managers were unprepared to provide the necessary training and onboarding support tailored to this unique group, further exacerbating negative biases.

“Recognizing the distinct needs and potential contributions of this generation is essential for fostering a more inclusive and productive work environment for all parties involved. Age bias should not exist no matter the age of the candidate.”

1 in 3 Have Concerns About Hiring Seniors

In total, 34% of hiring managers expressed concerns about hiring candidates over the age of 60.

Of hiring managers with this view, 74% raise concerns about seniors’ likelihood of retirement and 64% about their potential health issues. Additionally, 48% have concerns about seniors’ lack of experience with technology, and 40% say they work too slowly. Finally, 39% worry about seniors’ fixed mindset, 30% about their need for more time off, and 20% about their poor social skills.

These concerns have become more prevalent among hiring managers. In the 2022 report, fewer hiring managers held these concerns about hiring seniors; 37% noted a lack of experience with technology, 37% about potential retirement, and 34% about their fixed mindsets.

Of hiring managers with age bias against senior workers, 64% believe it’s beneficial to the company to avoid hiring senior candidates.

“Age bias against older workers persists despite changing realities in the workforce,” says Haller. “Outdated assumptions about retirement, health issues, and technological proficiency continue to plague many hiring decisions.

However, it’s clear that these beliefs are no longer aligned in today’s world.”

“Remote work has shattered traditional barriers, allowing individuals to continue working well beyond previous retirement ages.

This shift is driven by various factors, including the desire for continued financial stability and the opportunity to remain professionally engaged. In my private practice, I frequently witness older individuals embracing remote work as a means to extend their careers and continue to feel engaged.”

4 in 10 Say They Are Deterred If Applicant Appears Elderly in Interview

During interviews, physical appearance was also found to contribute to age bias – especially for senior candidates. In fact, 41% of hiring managers say if a candidate has an elderly appearance, they are deterred from considering them. More than one-third (36%) of hiring managers recommend candidates over 60 make an effort to appear younger in interviews.

Young appearances also lead to discrimination. Of hiring managers, 19% say that a youthful appearance turns them off from considering an applicant, with 36% recommending that 18 to 27 year-old candidates try to appear older during interviews.

“Both younger and older job seekers must recognize that ageism exists within the hiring process,” explains Haller. “Implementing practical strategies such as removing graduation dates from resumes and LinkedIn profiles, only showcasing job experiences from the past 15 years, and adopting modern email addresses are some ways to effectively combat age-based bias.”

“By embracing age diversity and fostering an inclusive environment, companies can tap into a wealth of talent and experience while also attracting and retaining top performers. Ultimately, combating age bias, whether against younger or older workers, is a strategic move that benefits everyone.”

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