CNA International Executive Search Blog

The best cheese is mature. So don't ignore the 'vintage' talent bank!

[fa icon="calendar"] 13-Mar-2017 12:52:35 / by Gavin Chase

Gavin Chase

 

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With a 74.6% employment rate in the UK, a record high since records began in 1971, companies cannot afford to ignore the talent, experience and skills of the older worker, may of whom are keen to get back into the workplace.

Here is the Government's Age Positive guide to identifying and hiring the more mature, if not 'vintage', worker.

Why

  • Older workers have talent, experience and knowledge
  • Widening the pool of potential recruits can increase the quality and productivity of an organisation
  • Age discrimination is unlawful unless it can be objectively justified
  • As people from mixed-age backgrounds develop and mature together, this brings benefits to the organisation through recognition of different experiences and shared learning practices
  • Older workers are a growing demographic; they are your customers or service users, and soon a critical mass of the potential workforce. You cannot afford to ignore them
How

When advertising and broadcasting employment opportunities, active steps and accommodations may be necessary in order to reach older jobseekers.

Advertising and promoting jobs
  • Use age neutral language
    • Recruitment materials should not cite age as a requirement- in all but a handful of cases this is illegal
    • Recruitment materials should not use euphemisms or synonyms for age, such as a ‘recent school leaver’, or someone who is ‘fresh’

 

  • Find and engage older workers
    • Consider why older people may not be applying for the jobs posted; although many will be on social media and job hunting sites, many others will not
    • Clear indications of when your organisation is hiring can help avoid confusion and encourage people of all ages to apply
      • This is especially important online, as frequent changes to web pages may confuse otherwise willing jobseekers

 

  • Promote your company, its diversity and inclusiveness, to jobseekers
    • When advertising, say that you welcome applications from people of all ages
    • Describe the accommodations you make to support older workers and all those who require greater flexibility, i.e. highlight flexible working hours if offered

 

  • Hold recruitment agencies that you work with to the same standard
    • Tell them that you are interested in capable employees of any age
    • Tell them what measures you take as a business to help your ageing workforce, and encourage them to explain this to all jobseekers

 

Evaluating and comparing candidates
  • Focus on whether the candidate has the right values and behaviours, can manage the competencies required, not whether they match the existing age-profile of the profession, or previous post-holder
  • Challenge unconscious bias and assumptions made
    • Do not assume knowledge of an individual’s health or fitness based on age
    • Do not assume knowledge of length of expected service

 

  • Respect and embrace differences
    • An older jobseeker may have different qualifications to a younger one As methods of standardised testing do change and evolve, hire on the basis of ability, not only on what type of assessment was sat

 

  • If interviewing by panel, consider a mixed-age panel
  • Ask all candidates the same basic set of questions using different questions to probe and draw out further information where appropriate
    • Asking only older workers about plans to retire may be viewed as discriminating against them because of their age. Instead consider asking all employees about where they see themselves in five years time

 

  • Separate personal details at the beginning of the sifting process and re-introduce them towards the end

For more inform ation on how CNA International executive search is supporting an Age Positive initiative, get in touch with Duncan Keil, duncan.keil@cnaint.com

AGE POSITIVE recruitment

Gavin Chase

Written by Gavin Chase

Global franchising Partner at CNA International executive search with responsibility for international expansion

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