Age does matter, if you like it or not.
Well, in the business world the age of workers definitely matters. You will never hear an HR person confirming this and equal rights treatment and diversity laws should be a protection, but this is not really the case.
From my personal experience being on both sides of the table in the last 21 month - as applicant and as recruiter/right placement advisor - you quickly realize that age does matter. Finding a new job with 54+ is difficult and introducing well experienced candidates above age 55 to customers is a challenge either. Today I did find the following two articles with a lot of insights related to this topic:
- CUTTING ‘OLD HEADS’ AT IBM: https://features.propublica.org/ibm/ibm-age-discrimination-american-workers/?utm_source=Venture+Daily&utm_campaign=df7b1d683f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6a5d9fa724-df7b1d683f-138440217&mc_cid=df7b1d683f&mc_eid=bb8c8ee7c3
- I’m not 54 years old. I’m 22 with 32 years experience https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/im-not-54-im-22-with-32-years-experience?utm_swu=1054&utm_campaign=daily-newsletter&utm_source=member&utm_term=DNLAB_03-22-18&utm_medium=email&utm_content=expensesvsperksvscoffeevsbodylanguage
Just two of several other stories related to this topic.
The worse thing is that just the Year of birth in your passport is driving this behavior and the related processes inside companies. Nobody is asking you how you feel, what your plans are and if you are still motivated to be part of the game. One day all is just fine and the next day you did pass the invisible border and everything is changing. There are a lot of companies out there, like IBM in the example, that are releasing large pools of talented and experienced employees, due to hidden rules. On the other side they are in daily competition with other companies in the "war for new/younger/cheaper talent".
What a crazy world? Everybody is talking about the lack of skilled employees, the consequences of the demograhic change and the potential impact on the economy, but the best agers are out of scope!! And even government environments that should be a positive role model are making no difference. Just today I did talk to a colleague from the Nacht der Technik preparation team. He had a meeting with the school and education Ministry some days ago and one of the pain points was 5,500 missing teachers. Nobody had an idea, how to fix this issue quickly and the only alternative proposal is to make more use of career changers. Basically a good idea, but candidates above 45 are out of scope. What a waste of expertise, experience and available resources?
So in summary: We do not really have a lack of skilled employees, we are just not smart enough to make best use of the people, who are available somewhere 🤔.
Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese. Luis Bunuel, Spanish - Director February 22, 1900 - July 29, 1983
Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age. Victor Hugo, French - Author February 26, 1802 - May 22, 1885