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Age discrimination: older jobseekers feel marginalised

Posted on from Changeboard

Older jobseekers feel they are at a disadvantage due to their age. Are businesses missing out on experienced talent because of unconscious bias?

Jobseekers between the age of 55 and 64 feel as if they are discriminated against by prospective employers.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents that fell into this age range, in a survey conducted by totaljobs, felt that their age was a negative factor in their search for a new role.

The research found that just a third of 16 to 24 year olds felt they had experienced age discrimination, with this number falling to 21% for 25 to 34 year olds and 22% for those aged between 35 and 44. 

John Salt group sales director at totaljobs said: “In a candidate led market where business continue to create new jobs there’s no reason for employers to miss out on talent. But our research shows that age discrimination, whether conscious or unconscious, still exists and is an issue affecting many jobseekers.”

Those aged between 55 and 64 felt their age was a clear disadvantage to their applications. Some 82% cited their age as an issue, compared to only 16% of 16 to 24 year olds. 

Despite feeling discriminated against, older workers are more likely to prepare thoroughly for interviews. Some 72% of over 55s said they’d prepare for over an hour before an interview, compared to just 62% of those under 24. 

Salt is calling on employers not to disregard the benefits of the experience older applicants can provide: “Older generations bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge. In many cases candidates with more experience tend to be more confident and able to creatively problem-solve based on both the life and work experiences they have dealt with over the years,” he added. 

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