Despite the fact that in a selection process for a job the skills of a worker should weigh above any physical traits, it is evident that this is not always the case.
Age has become a determining factor when evaluating workers in recent years, to the point of becoming a type of discrimination called ‘ageism’, which here shows their employment perspective . That is one of the conclusions obtained by the global report ‘Meeting The World’s Midcareer Challenge ‘ (Facing the challenge of the equator of the professional career in the world) of the NGO Generation .
The study, conducted between March and May 2021, surveyed 3,800 employed and unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 60 and 1,404 hiring managers from seven countries, and concluded that the so-called Generation X, the next baby boomers , especially after 45 years old, is the worst positioned when looking for a job.
45 years, the critical threshold for looking for a job
According to the report, the pandemic adds to the existing problems for older workers, which already had to do with the adoption of digital technology. Something that the confinements have accelerated, along with the automation of jobs, aggravating this age discrimination that already existed throughout the world.
Generation CEO Mona Mourshed says the report for the first time “puts a figure on age discrimination in the workplace.”
“It is an absolutely needy demographic and it is very clear that once you reach a certain age, it just becomes much more difficult to access a job opportunity,” Mourshed told the US network CNBC .
Prejudices on the part of the interviewees and lack of digital skills
In particular, the survey reveals that hiring managers or hiring managers around the world consider those 45 and older to be the worst cohort in terms of application readiness, aptitude, and prior experience.
Among their main concerns are the perceived reluctance among older workers to try new technologies (38%), the inability to learn new skills (27%) and the difficulty of working with other generations (21%).
This comes despite evidence that older workers often outperform their younger peers elsewhere. In fact, nearly nine out of ten (87%) hiring managers said their hires aged 45 and over have been just as good – or better – than younger employees.
What to do to turn the situation around
Training in the digital field could be a solution to the problem, the study maintains. In the study, nearly three-quarters (73%) of people over 45 who changed careers said that attending training helped them land their new position.
However, the report also highlights the reluctance to train among job seekers over 45 years of age.
More than half (57%) of entry-level and intermediate-level job seekers expressed resistance to retraining, while only 1% said that training increased their confidence when looking for work. Often this is due to negative training experiences, conflicts with personal duties, and a lack of available programs and financial support to carry them out.
In addition, the organization also asks companies and governments to create ethical formulas to avoid problems of this type, such as creating certain occupation quotas for older employees or internal training programs.