Job Seekers Suffer Ageism If They Display ‘Older’ Characteristics

Age stereotypes can strongly affect people’s choices about who to hire, according to new research published in the Journal of Social Issues. The University of Kent study found that between two equally qualified job applicants, the one who displays stereotypically “young” characteristics is more likely to be hired than the one with stereotypically “old” characteristics. The young stereotype was described as a candidate “good at using IT, creative and quick to learn new skills.” The older stereotype candidate was “good at understanding others’ views, settling arguments, and being careful.” In a series of experiments, the research team led by psychology Professor Dominic Abrams asked people to imagine they were running a firm and then to select the candidate who would help them make the most money. The study participants were told about the candidates’ skills, but not given their ages. More than 70 percent of the participants favored the “young” profile job applicant.  The findings show that people’s unacknowledged assumptions about age and age-related capability can affect the way they view someone’s employability. If these assumptions affect employers’ judgements, it has serious implications for the fair chances of older workers to gain employment in new roles or workplaces, the authors said in a press release. The study’s conclusions probably wouldn’t surprise many older job seekers. A series of AARP studies found that older employees were perceived as being unwilling to adapt to technology, resistant to new ways, and inflexible. In addition, older workers who have lost a job remain unemployed longer than any other age group. A 2015 AARP study found that half of the people ages 45 to 70 who lost their jobs in the previous five years were still not working. Among those who had found jobs, nearly half said they were earning less than in their previous jobs. Ageism in hiring has been in the spotlight most notably in the tech industry, which is dominated by younger people.

Source: Job Seekers Suffer Ageism If They Display ‘Older’ Characteristics


About Stephen G. Barr, Group Publisher

Author, Syndicated Columnist, Editor In-Chief and Group Publisher at SGB Media Group, a social media marketing firm specializing in digital media content production, publishing, affiliate marketing, public relations and advertising. Over 25 years experience in retailing, advertising, website & online forum development, niche social networking, affiliate marketing, search optimization, branding and identity, site location, non-profit fund raising. Event planning, promotion, production and MC/Host at public events. Author, Editor & Publisher of 35 syndicated, digital publications utilizing multiple digital distribution channels in conjunction with launching and administrating national advertising campaigns for major Fortune 500 advertisers in partnership with Google, Ning, Facebook, Myspace, Yahoo, DoubleClick, LinkShare, PepperJam and other industry leading third party affiliate networks. Product development team member from conception to launch on many websites, tangible goods and organizational structure for start ups. Specialties: Public relations, retailing, advertising, website & online forum development, niche social networking, blogging, email campaigns, affiliate/performance marketing, search optimization, branding and identity, site location, event production & promotion, non-profit fund raising and tasteful, responsible adult content publishing. An internationally recognized and read social media columnist & pundit on The Examiner, Associate Content,, and Technorati and his own affiliated sites.
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