Talent Talk: PlasticsToday’s Weekly Jobs and Business Blog

06/23/2011

In the words of the great English poet Alexander Pope, fools rush in where angels fear to tread. With that in mind, I've hesitated for a few weeks but finally have decided it's time to address a ticklish subject here. It is one about which I feel strongly, and having decided to go forward I will do so directly and without fear.

I am going to lay out a case to employers that not only should they not discriminate against the older candidate; they should shift their paradigms and embrace that segment of the workforce.

The first step to correcting a problem is often to admit that you have one, so here goes; the older worker has been discriminated against for a long time. This is pretty widely accepted, as evidenced by the fact that there are laws against age discrimination. As with other forms of discrimination, over the years it has become more subtle. It reveals itself more obliquely than in the past. For example, when I make the case for an older candidate to a potential employer, I might hear things such as, "Its an impressive resume, but we'd really like to find someone with more energy," or "He certainly has the experience we are looking for, but he's overqualified for this position"....
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