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Executive Search Firm News - Management Matters

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Management Matters: is a New Article series dealing with the issues that arise when managing personnel and how to optimize your current staff in a company.


Avoiding Age Discrimination While Hiring

October 1st, 2007


Executives need to be aware of shifts in the workplace and the labor pool that makes age discrimination claims an important management issue.


“Shifts in demographic trends and judicial reasoning have combined to set the stage for a rapid rise in the risks posed by unsuccessful job candidates who fall within the protected class of workers age 40 and older under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,” states Fay Hansen, a contributing editor for Workforce Management magazine.


The U.S. Census Bureau predicts than 37.2 percent of the population will be in the 45 to 84 age group by 2010, meaning executives need to be aware of a shift in the labor pool and the available talent for key management positions.


“The surge of older workers remaining in or re-entering the work force underscores the importance of training recruiters and hiring managers to avoid age discrimination charges,” Hansen advises.


“Employers need to start thinking about the age spread in various positions and make sure they pay the same attention to age as they do to race and gender in the hiring process,” recommends Connie Bertram, partner in Winston & Strawn’s Washington office.


To avoid potential problems in hiring, experts recommend the following:


Bullet Arrow Total time spent on internal communication
Bullet Arrow Increase efforts to train recruits and managers to avoid age discrimination issues in the hiring process
Bullet Arrow

Hiring practices must be broadening to include older-aged applicants, not just in ways to attract only younger candidates (for example, posting only on job boards frequented by younger applicants)
Bullet Arrow

Avoid referring to candidates age or physical and mental abilities during the hiring process (asking is the applicant has the energy for long hours)
Bullet Arrow Don’t try to hide behind the “overqualified” defense. Rather offer the job at the salary allotted to be best qualified candidate
Bullet Arrow Don’t interview people you will never hire. Focus on screening and reviewing applications before bringing in candidates
Bullet Arrow Use a diverse group of decision-makers for the recruiting and hiring process
Bullet Arrow Maintain a diverse work force. "
Bullet Arrow If unsuccessful candidates ask questions after they have been rejected, consult with human resources and counsel before replying





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