When considering job candidates; it’s always important to base your decisions on whether the person is qualified to perform the job that you are hiring them for.

That means assessing their skills and experience against the job requirements.

Discrimination in any form is illegal as we all know, yet older job hunters are still suffer from the sting of age discrimination.

Like other forms of discrimination, age discrimination can be very subtle and not always recognized by the applicant or acknowledged by the employer.

The more subtle and often unintentional forms of age discrimination can include:

• Choosing not to hire an applicant because they have too much experience.

• Assuming that the older job applicant won’t stay with the organization very long because they must be close to retiring.

• Making assumptions that the older worker is not as computer savvy as younger applicants.

Asking the right questions, and having a solid job description in place that clearly highlights the skills and abilities needed for the job will help you to keep your focus on the experience that you need for the role.

You want to stay clear of assessing candidates based on attributes that have nothing to do with the job and whether the job applicant is capable of performing the work.

In the show notes which you can find on the website for the podcast version of this article, I’ll share links to some resource articles that will help you to understand why you need to have a job description, how to write a job description and the best interview questions to ask job candidates.

There are so many advantages to hiring older workers. Older workers bring:

• A strong work ethic to the workplace

• Strong problem solving, and trouble shooting skills

• Ability to work autonomously

• The maturity and interest to mentor co-workers based on their years of experience in the workplace.

• Excitement about the changes in the workplace as it relates to new technology.

• Ability to think on their feet. The ability to draw on past experience to make critical decisions and use solid judgment based on past experiences?.

Don’t misunderstand me. It goes without saying that younger employees have similar attributes and not all employees whether they are younger or older can be labeled as the “best” type of employee to hire in any situation.

But, mature workers offer skills and real life work experience and perspectives that their younger counterparts simply cannot match based on their lack of overall years in the workforce. What is most important is that as an employer, you take advantage of what our entire potential workforce has to offer.

Don’t automatically rule out a candidate because you assume that they may not be as committed because of the candidate’s vast experience.

A workforce made up of a microcosm of our community, be they young, mature, male, female, disabled, our LGBT population, or people of color can only help to make a company more dynamic and richer given the varied skills, experience and perspectives that difference brings to the table.

Until next time… to your success!

Author's Bio: 

Dianne Shaddock is the Founder of Easy Small Business HR, Employee Hiring and Managing Tips. Through the Employee Hiring and Managing Tips podcast, blog, and weekly ‘quick tips’ e-newsletters, Dianne offers expert advice on how to make better hiring decisions, manage difficult employees, develop employee policies, motivate staff, and so much more. No stuffy, corporate HR policy lingo; but straight forward, easy to understand and implement advice for businesses just like yours. Stay ahead of the curve and go to Easy Small Business HR.com for more tips on how to hire and manage your staff effectively.