Addressing the age gap in recruitment and selection

Age continues to be a touchy topic among HR practitioners around Australia. Is there any real merit in hiring an employee who appears to be too young for the role or perhaps one that is significantly advanced in years?

If a recent global study is to be believed, employees around Australia seem to strongly favour organisations that maintain a good mix of ages in their workforce. The recent Labor Market Participation survey, conducted by recruitment firm Randstad, suggests that people in Australia are open to working with colleagues of a variety of ages.

According to the survey's findings, 78 per cent of Australian employees feel it is good for their company to actively recruit young people, defined as those aged 25 and under. Meanwhile, a similar proportion (77 per cent) said they want their company to actively hire older people, aged 55 and over.

The majority of respondents said that they believe people in these demographic groups find it harder to find work, and thus, sympathised with them. For example, nine in 10 respondents said that they feel that it is hard for older people to find a suitable job, and 84 per cent believed that they would therefore resort to accepting jobs below their level of education.

All organisations must make sure that their recruitment and selection practices are optimised to include a wide range of candidates, as both young and old employees can bring plenty of value to the workplace.

For example, young job seekers, fresh out of university, usually bring plenty of enthusiasm, innovation and creativity, which is just what most organisations need in these challenging times.
A tool such as the Graduate talent assessment can help you to identify the best young people to drive growth at your company.

On the other hand, older workers can demonstrate a wealth of experience and leadership skills, and are likely to stay loyal. This makes them ideal candidates for the frontline leadership roles at your organisation.