Sly tactics from unimaginative employers and recruiters treat mature workers like a cliche.
You’ve no doubt heard the term ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ — a metaphor that means one shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone.
And yet story by story, experience by experience, we are building a picture that many organisations and their recruitment firms are doing just that.
Mature workers are seen collectively as technology illiterate, inflexible, expensive or lacking energy.
They are told they are overqualified, or asked how they think they would work with a younger boss. These and many other questions are thinly disguised barbs about age.
But recruiters and organisations are smart. They know they can’t discriminate based on age.
And so they use sly tactics. They prevaricate*. They obfuscate*.
The upshot is opportunity missed.
Opportunity that comes from the broad experience and wisdom of mature workers both individually and collectively.
Only thing is, in a few decades most of our productive workforce will be mature, and most of our population for that matter.
So will we continue to allow mature workers to be treated like cliches?
Or will we look beyond the cover, and start judging them individually based on what they know, what they can do, what value they can bring.
We’re not saying give every job to a mature person. No, not at all.
We’re just saying treat all candidates equally. A mature women could do just as good a job as a younger man. A mature man, just as competent as a younger woman. Or visa versa.
Just stop the unimaginative characterisations of someone based on age or hair colour. It reflects badly on your judgement and wisdom.
At Silver & Wise we are working towards an end to ageism by helping one mature individual at a time. What are you doing? Find out more at silverandwise.com.au
* obfuscate — make obscure, unclear, or unintelligible
* prevaricate — speak or act in an evasive way.