How Do You Deal With Age Discrimination?

Question: How does an older person deal with the issue of age discrimination? If we are graying should we include a picture on LinkedIn?

This is a very controversial issue. In my thirty years as a recruiter, I have never encountered what I consider to be age discrimination. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur, as I’m sure it does. I do believe that candidates often claim age discrimination first, when the real issue is something else. For example, a person at the VP or manager level is clearly qualified for a lower level position; however, that doesn’t mean they are right for the position. Not only are they overqualified for the position, they generally require a salary reduction from their last role. This has nothing to do with age, but is often called that by candidates I coach. Another example is lack of energy or passion for the position. Older workers often come across as burned out, just wanting a job, or needing something until retirement. The passion, energy and enthusiasm they once had no longer comes across in the interview. This isn’t age discrimination either.  I know many people in their late fifties that have more energy than many in their twenties and they seem to find opportunities.

I recommend before claiming age discrimination, first eliminate all the other issues. If candidates immediately claim age discrimination they will never step back and evaluate if it might be something other than age discrimination. This results in the real issue never being addressed.

Regarding your picture, you should have one posted. If you are graying and believe this is an issue there are options to deal with this. Besides you can’t hide the graying in an interview. Not having a picture only delays the first impression, it doesn’t eliminate age discrimination.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

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I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

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