The term ageism refers to the persistent prejudices or discriminations done on the grounds of a person’s age. Even though ageism exists in every aspect of the society, its increase in recruitment is occurring at a concerning rate,making it almost impossible for Baby Boomers to get employed.
Among the many studies on age bias in hiring, the one conducted by David Neumark,professor of economics at University of California along with two other economists showed that after 40,000 resumes being sent out for thousands of real jobs,the call-back rate dropped from young applicants to middle-aged applicants and further down for older applicants. The study also revealed that the rate was even worse for older women than older men.
But what causes this ageism in recruitment?
There are mainly three key stereotypes that originate and fuel this issue of age bias in employing :
- Succession: The typical mindset that older adults should step aside from high paying jobs and significant social roles to give way to younger candidates
- Identity: There is a consistent restriction put on older people that they should not try to act younger than they are
- Consumption: And finally, the mindset that seniors should not consume so many of the scarce resources like healthcare
The demographics of young adults are most likely to harbor these pre-conceived perceptions,who,ironically enough,eventually arrive at the receiving end of their old age.