The benefits of age diversity in recruitment
Age diversity is a hot topic in recruitment. Previously it has tended to take a back seat to other diversity and inclusivity areas such as gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation as these attract more media attention and the tenacious campaigns of diversity activists.
But age diversity in the workplace is now under the spotlight. Why? Because employers are coming to understand its many benefits to working environments. We’re talking about hiring young and training up, and recruiting from the older population and offering part-time work.
How age diverse is your workplace?
If it is wildly diverse and inclusive, do you enjoy the different life experiences and perspectives, or do you find there’s a disconnect?
If there is little age diversity, does that limit the experience of the team or does it align your collective ambitions and goals?
Of course, each company will experience age diversity differently, but the benefits of age diversity in recruitment are appreciated more now than ever before.
According to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), “age-diverse teams can benefit both individuals and their organisations. Genuine inclusion boosts workforce diversity, helps address skill and labour shortages and benefits an organisation’s reputation and brand”.
Let’s take a closer look.
Age diversity avoids skills shortage vulnerability
A lack of age diversity in your recruitment will leave you vulnerable to skills shortages, like the one we are experiencing now. The recently reported exodus of older workers, for example, has left companies without experienced workers.
An age-diverse workforce provides improved performance
According to AARP, a mixed age team achieves a higher level of productivity due to shared knowledge from past experiences, which also produces new approaches to problem solving.
How to create an age-diverse workforce
- Be careful how you word job advertisements. Using words such as ‘experienced’ can make a younger candidate feel undervalued.
- Application forms should not ask for a candidate’s date of birth. They should also avoid asking for dates of previous employment or specific qualifications because these often reveal the age of the candidate.
- Any staff in the company who will be involved in interviews should be trained in equal opportunities and age diversity. They should focus on skills and experience and ignore the age of the candidate as these attributes will be far more valuable to the employer.
- Flexible working should be offered to all candidates wherever possible such as home working, hybrid working or part-time hours. All of these could be of interest to younger and older people.
- Any flexibility required for training or work hours should be addressed at the induction stage to make the younger or older new employees feel that their needs are being met.
- You should monitor your age diversity policy. Keep a record of the age of all job applicants shortlisted and those invited to interview and offered employment. This will tell you if your age diversity policy is working.
- As a company be proud of your age diversity policy. Promote it to your employees, clients and the media to show your organisation is an advocate of age inclusivity. It’s great for your brand!