As Furlough Ends, ‘ageism’ is set to disadvantage older workers in the recruitment process.

The furlough scheme ending has brought the possibility that some organisations may have to make redundancies. However, experts have warned that workers aged 50 and over could struggle to secure jobs due to ageism in the recruitment process. Age is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act and therefore employers must ensure that ageism does not exist in their recruitment process.

Recent figures have shown that 335,000 people aged over 50 are unemployed and that 36% of 50- to 70-year-olds felt disadvantaged in applying for jobs due to their age.  The charity ‘Centre for Ageing Better’, the CIPD and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation have launched a best practice guide to help employers effectively engage with older workers in their recruitment process, which includes advising they should:

  • Consider age as part of their Inclusion and Diversity policy
  • Collect and scrutinise age data from their recruitment process
  • Ensure job adverts have benefits that might appeal to older workers
  • Ensure role descriptions are not age biased
  • Structure the interview process using multiple decision makers and predefined questions

Older workers are valued in the workplace, as they bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills which they are able to share with other workers including younger workers. Thus, they can often be crucial to an organisations success, making it important that the hiring process is inclusive as possible to recruit the best person for the job.

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