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Do on-line job sites actually block older workers?

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Do on-line job sites actually block older workers?

A question often raised is whether age discrimination about job opportunities is real, or perceived. There are many opinions, yet few facts. A recent CNBC article provides more facts than most conversations on the sensitive topic, and claims discrimination happens in various ways.

It leads off with “Older Americans struggling to overcome age discrimination while looking for work face a new enemy: their computers.” More people need to work longer, and more people want to work longer, so this is a growing issue.

The CNBC article points out some positives. “Online job-hunting tools should be making things easier for older employment seekers, and it can. Indeed.com, which claims to list 16 million jobs worldwide, currently lists 158,000 openings under its “Part Time Jobs, Senior Citizen Jobs” category. Monster.com, which claims 5 million listings, has a special home page for “Careers at 50+.””

It goes on to say “In other ways, however, online job sites can cut older workers out. Age bias is built right into their software, according to Madigan. Job seekers who try to build a profile or resume can find that it’s impossible to complete some forms because drop-down menus needed to complete tasks don’t go back far enough to let older applicants fill them out. For example, one site’s menu options for “years attended college” stops abruptly at 1956. That could prevent someone in their late 70s from filling out the form.”

The full article can be found at:

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/10/online-job-sites-may-block-older-workers.html

We have several potentially controversial points of view:

  1. 1. Very few people land jobs via job sites, so even if true the effect is limited

  2. 2. There are some fields (e.g. Marketing) where age discrimination does seem real and pronounced

  3. 3. Those wishing to continue working in leadership roles in their sixties and beyond need to have a strategy for pivoting to roles that value silver savvy experience over youth.

What are your thoughts?

– Jim Deupree

 

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