Online job sites may create obstacles for older workers

Dive Brief:

  • Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently challenged job boards on alleged ageism that is creating barriers for older people searching for work online, CNBC reports. An independent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco revealed that older workers were 30% less likely to be contacted after applying for a job online, and 47% of older women were not getting contacted after using online job portals.
  • The problem is that many companies use graduation dates to cut off certain applicants. Some job sites do not allow candidates to go back long enough to add their full career histories. Madigan says this is discriminatory, especially given the higher number of people working well past the standard retirement age.
  • CareerBuilder disputes these claims, saying they are committed to helping workers from all generations find rewarding jobs, and are taking steps to repair this ‘unfortunate oversight’. None of the other seven major job boards contacted by Madigan’s office has yet responded.

Dive Insight:

Upon first review of this subject, it’s easy to just advise older applicants to leave off job histories and educational information that may date them when creating an online resume. But, then coming from an HR perspective, isn’t being able to provide proof of skills and knowledge of greater value for an applicant?

The EEOC in particular has started to pay more attention to ageism, particularly in the tech industry. All technology is a reflection of the values and biases made into them, a common problem with recruitment tech in particular. 

Human resource and recruitment pros need to be mindful when using online job boards to pull candidate resumes and be aware of the potential downfalls of the technology. Connecting with agencies that help mature candidates find jobs may be a good backup until the job boards fix this error. 

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Filed Under: Recruiting