Age is discrimination happens when a candidate is not hired based on their age or an assumption about their skills based on their age without any proof of actual abilities. This can occur to both older and younger candidates and, in most cases, is unintentional. Are you worried about ensuring you eliminate age discrimination when hiring new candidates?
Here’s How You Can Avoid Age Discrimination During the Interview Process
It Begins with Your Application Process
Be careful that your job description and application process does not exclude certain age groups. For example, avoid:
- Requiring an excessive amount of experience (i.e., 7+ years)
- Asking the year candidates graduated high school or college (do you need to know this?)
- Requiring all of a candidate’s work history (ask for only relevant work history. This saves you time when sifting through the job description)
Rank Qualities You Need in a Successful Candidate Before You Begin Interviewing
Specify exactly what you need most in your next team member before you begin interviewing candidates. This will help put you in the right mindset and allow you to focus on the skills that are most important and avoid basing your decision on factors that do not matter such as age, race, and gender.
Avoid Asking Questions That Reveal a Candidate’s Age
While you might be able to tell by appearance the general age of a candidate, you should steer clear of asking questions that will date your candidates. Questions to avoid during an interview include:
- Directly asking a candidate’s age
- When candidates graduated from college
- When candidates graduated high school
Steer Clear of Personal Topics
Discussing topics such as children or grandchildren can easily help you determine the age of a candidate, even if that is not your intention. Keep it professional by steering clear of personal topics. Once a candidate is hired, of course, you can take the time to get to know them better, but during the interview process, only questions directly related to the job should be addressed.
Collaborate with Co-workers
Allowing at least one other person in on the hiring process helps to prevent age-related hiring biases. With multiple opinions having a say in the decision, it is much harder to let age play a factor and easier to come to a well-balanced decision.
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