I recently encountered this article from ProPublica. Huge companies have become carelessly obvious about a specific age group they want as employees. I’m glad these companies are shunned in the public eye for engaging in age discrimination, but this information is hardly new. As one tweet pointed out, companies have been age discriminating since the economy crash of 2008.
This is NOT an exaggeration. I’ve been blogging about these abhorrent practices since 2009. The following is a sample from my previous blog that discusses this very topic.
At that time, I maintained a Linkedin profile page (it’s now deleted, it was NEVER useful except to collect unsolicited invitations from scamcruiters™). For giggles, I would peruse the forum to see what recruiters were saying about the “lazy jobseeker.” To my horror, I found the below thread.
(Side note: Thank goodness, I was smart enough to post some excerpts instead of posting a URL. If I had posted the URL, chances are very good it would be a non-working link today.)
February 6, 2009:
I was perusing the LinkedIn HR forums and came across this thread. The title of the post immediately caught my eye:
Are 40-50 year olds the new target group for recruitment?
<my add-on response>Really? Is this person perpetuating age discrimination? Any way you try to dismantle this, the bottom line is this person is purposely targeting a specific age group, otherwise known as age discrimination. The thing that is most scary about this, is that these are the type of folks that were thought to be highly qualified in the selecting the perfect candidate for the job. If this person seems to think that 40-50 year olds are all the rage, college graduates don’t stand a chance, and their parents just wasted all that money for nothing. Shame on you XXX for presenting such an asinine idea.
Here are some of the responses from the Linkedin thread:
What do you think will be the new target group in recruitment? What people will be most sought after the next few years? I think it could be the 40-50 group. Do you agree? Why/why not?</Director, Program Office; Strategic Planning at Meggitt Safety Systems
I believe you to be correct and right. Correct in the respect that I believe that will be the trend. Right because the right thing during these times for companies to do is rely on experience. During the late seventies and early eighties major corporations were putting new MBA;s in very responsible positions managing multimillion dollars. This was during the Carter era when everything was going to hell and a hand basket. It didn’t take too long for those companies to reap the ill rewards of their foolishness and replace those individuals with tried and true seasoned professionals. That lesson learned and budgets on hiring tight, the executive today is going to want the most bang for the buck. Most companies have been feathering their future with less seasoned personnel with the intent of ensuring the proper level of succession planning for the future. I believe that period to be over and those individuals hired some time ago and now seasoned, will rise to the top and other vacancies will be filled from the outside with the 40-60’s group. Note I added 10 years because smart companies, who like myself, believe this economic cycle will last seven years or less. This puts the seasoned execs like myself in the picture presuming retirement for these individuals will be 66-70 years old. After all, 40 is the new 30, 50 is the new 40 and 60 is (the way I feel) the new 55. Based on my formula 70 will be the new 70. Best regards to all my newly acquired group member brethren and sisters. Recruiter, Chadwell & Associates, Inc.>I think the most sought after group will continue to be what it has always been…talented employees that are committed to quality products and improving the company’s ability to do it more efficiently. All of that with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. Are there not laws in The Netherlands that discourage discrimination based on age? I think most companies recognize that they need to have a variety of employees to keep the creative juices flowing. Hiring only one generation would leave a company alienated from whatever generations they haven’t embraced. Quality Assurance and Safety at AJA.
I would not think that 40 to 50 groups would be the new target. I think companies will be selective depending on their requirements taking into consideration breadth of experience, maturity, IT knowledge. I would have thought that it actually becomes more difficult.
COORDINATOR FOR ARGENTINEAN LEGAL AFFAIRS at Petrobras>Here in Brazil there is a phenomena of re-recruiting 40-50 year-old executives with previous experience in replacement for some highly-educated but unexperienced young professionals, but the rule is to mix both groups, as younger professionals have had better access to higher education.>Demographically speaking, there will be a flood of Baby Boomer retirees returning to the job market (at least for part-time roles) to make up for the loss in their retirement savings due to the current financial crisis, and their longer lifespan. But part-timers won;t be able to fill crucial roles. Their offspring is the incoming generation of workers (the Baby ;Boomlet;) but they aren’t as experienced yet. As someone else said, you want the most experienced people for the job, and that’s not necessarily tied to age. But if you had to pick an age cohort, the 40-50 demo is about right as the most in-demand segment to fill the leadership / skilled individual contributor gap.>
CTO. Works as ;Human Search Engine! An internet addict; !!!>It is news to me!>I seemed to have just missed the bus at 52 years 🙂 Senior Recruitment Coordinator at Athabasca University>
at 38 I sure hope that the 40-50 year old market becomes hot in about 2 years. I am not sure that I see that happening though.>editor, energyme.com | energy | gas | technology | news
Aside from the Linkedin excerpts, I have frequently posted my experiences where I felt I was discriminated against due to age. (Don’t ever apply at Express if you show protruding bracket lines around the mouth). Because I posted and kept that blog for three years documenting my experiences, finding such topics was a challenge, so I skimmed it for bits and pieces. That was back when the 99’ers made headline news (yeah, remember them? Where are they today? Happily employed, I hope).
I did come across this comment to one of my posts about the 99ers. His response, this one from 2010:
I’m one of the 99ers, and yes, I’m well over fifty years of age. I blogged about my story, and the story of so many others, here: http://1389blog.com/2010/12/24/who-are-the-99ers/ There’s more to it than just the declining economy – there’s a concerted effort to starve out the American tech worker and to export jobs overseas. It’s been going on for well over a decade. In case anybody is wondering, no, I am not lazy, and yes, I did accept the only job offer I have received in nearly three years. Trouble is, it’s only part time, and it doesn’t pay enough to support even one person, let alone contribute meaningfully to the support of a family
In short, I congratulate the media who is just now catching up with the anomalies of the job market. Keep up the good work.