5 Reasons why you shouldn’t discount "older" candidates

Posted on 13th March 2019

A multi-generational workforce has some fantastic benefits for Organisations and there is a strong push on this in relation to the HR strategy looking forwards.

There are many reasons as to why you shouldn’t discount older candidates – here are some to think about:

  1. The benefit to recruitment – Think about it, there’s a huge portion of the labour market that is being left untapped if you’re only recruiting the younger generation! Considering a wider range of candidates can only be of benefit to the organisation.
  2. Skills/Experience – Well this one is obvious right? Those that are of an older generation may have had a wide range of experience in many different areas during their employment history. This experience has probably taught a whole host of things which can be applied to a current role. Also, something worth considering is the skills shortage we are currently facing in the UK, so discounting older candidates may mean you are missing out on some fabulous skills which are required within your organisation.
  3. Case studies have shown that older workers are increasingly looking to extend their working lives with over 50% of ages 55+ planning to work beyond the state pension age. The default retirement age is no longer forced at 65 years old either! This could also provide positive outcomes to retention rates in an organisation.
  4. Age Discrimination is serious under the Equality Act 2010 and it is against the law to discriminate based on age, or indeed many other personal characteristics. The associated costs to an organisation for age discrimination being well founded in a tribunal can be extremely high. The top band could see you paying anything up to almost £43,000 for injury to feelings in cases of discrimination. It is important to review your recruitment process and consider whether there are any elements which could be considered as either direct or indirect discrimination. For example, looking at the wording on your adverts. If it states “Looking for a fun, young, spritely sales person”, you’re likely to be discriminating against applicants who are older. If you’re making decisions based on someone’s age, unless you can show that it is objectively justified and proportionate, it can only be seen as discriminatory.
  5. There are many, many benefits to having a diverse workforce. Research has identified that this correlates significantly to better financial performance!

What organisation doesn’t want that?

Charlotte Batchelor Character
Written by:
Charlotte Batchelor
HR Adviser