Monday, November 5, 2012
Age Related Stereotypes
Reasons for Age Discrimination in the Workplace[i]
Beth, an employer, wants to hire someone for a strenuous job that requires a great deal of training, which will take place over the course of several years. The applicant who appears to be the most qualified is 58 years old; however Beth is concerned that the applicant will not be able to handle the physical demands of the position in the long run. Further, she is concerned that the applicant will only continue working for several more years. Does Beth hire the applicant anyway? What choice would you give Beth?
One reason that employers want to hire some workers is age-related stereotypes. Employers may think that older workers are stuck in their ways, unable to adapt to new changes in the workplace, learn new technology, or keep up in general with new trends. Companies often deem older workers as less flexible. Hiring managers may use euphemisms like “young blood” to say they want younger workers who they expect to have more energy and work harder, even though they lack experience. Companies may think that older workers are just coasting as they wait for retirement and lack the same enthusiasm as younger hires.