6 Reasons HR Doesn't Promote or Hire Older Workers

In ‘6 Reasons HR Doesn’t Promote or Hire Older Workers’ we outline six reasons why many HR departments don’t promote or hire older workers. Our reasons are based on conclusions we’ve drawn from research, public statements from corporate leaders, and anecdotal evidence we’ve collected from hundreds of viewer comments. While we don’t believe every HR department or hiring manager follows these practices, it is likely a significant percentage do in some form.

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References & Clips:

The Case for Hiring Older Workers

Employers’ Health Costs Could Rise 6% in 2020

Managing Workers Who Are Older and More Experienced Than You

“Young People Are Just Smarter”

37% Of Bosses Say Older Workers Clog Promotions For Cheaper Younger Workers

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  1. I've made it to the final interview in quite a few circumstances. Once they see me, it's over.

  2. UPS readily hires older workers, at least the seasonal ones.

  3. Gen X is turning 50 or more…and we were on the leading edge of adopting new technology….personal computers, mobile phones/communications, early internet and E Commerce? That was us…we grasped the technology that the younger generations are using today. I find that ironic, that we can't grasp technology…we were the ones who were the first generation involved in developing and implementing it.

  4. The nonprofit sector may place more value on the grey heads, but it is still an issue.

  5. I’ll be 60 in September. I am currently unemployed. I’ve gone on interviews but I can see it in their face when I walk in. I go through the process as upbeat and positive as I can and do the proper follow up. Sometimes I get the Dear John letter, sometimes I don’t even hear from large corporations. My brother-in-law works for a large corporation and is involved in the hiring process. He said I was interviewed so that they could have my file in the cabinet just in case they were ever brought up on discrimination charges. I have to agree. So do I flip burgers?

  6. Your honesty is appreciated. Not easy to get hired or promoted as an older worker. Word to the wise: if you are an older worker and you HAVE an acceptable job: do your DAMNDEST to KEEP it and be grateful for it.

  7. That news is depressing to hear.

  8. There are all types of surveys about the workplace-the best place for working mothers, for example. Has there ever been one for the best workplace for older workers?

  9. What data do you have on EU countries? Healthcare is not a concern for employers over here, for example. Thanks for an interesting video. When I was already in my 50s, I immigrated from the US back to the central European homelands of my ancestors. I have a good job teaching physics and math at a private international school with excellent management. What can you say about workers over 50 in the EU generally? I am quite interested.

  10. There is somewhere in the galaxy that hires older workers. It's on a hell planet.

  11. The answer if you have journeyman level trade skills. Just smile and tell them to go fly a kite, then go do your own thing. Problem solved.

  12. Unfortunately in my industry, skills, and knowledge is just half of the equation. You also need the work experience to prove you have used those skills.

  13. At age 52 (about 10 years ago) I was hired by the State of California. The State seems to hire older workers for various reasons. I believe it makes them look good to the Federal Govt. The only place I experienced ageism was when I was interviewing with the big 4 Accounting firms and mid sized firms. I graduated with honors at age 45 and once they figured out my age in an interview you could feel the room get cold.

  14. I'm 53 and have never had any problems being hired in the last 5 years. It could be though because I do have computer experience.

  15. As an aside, and what I will argue is wrong with corporate structure, is; WHY IS HR DECIDING WHO GETS HIRED AND PROMOTED? Why is that decision not made by operational managers who will be working with the employee and and who's performance is dependent on the work that his/her employees do? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the managers with the closest and most immediate relationships with the employees would make the best hiring and promotion decisions, plus they have a stake in the game, HR does not…NO, they really don't!
    I appreciate this video because it is an unpopular one to make but it has great value in letting older workers/job seekers know accurately where they stand, so they can prepare.
    We should look at this issue with both a micro view and a macro view.
    The micro view is that we really can't blame companies for doing what they (think!!!) is best for the corporation. Greater social issues and what happens to millions of workers who are up in their years is, from a business stand point, not their responsibility and thus not an issue of focus.
    The macro view is that in governing a country, people in their 50's still need an income and to be productive. And we know that companies would not dismiss of employees, just because they are older, so freely if the labor market was tighter and 20 somethings and 30 somethings were hard to come by and recruit. So if you are older (I am 58) the open borders with Hundreds of Thousands of foreigners pouring into our country, many of them young is not helping your cause, or the health of many social issues in our country. Maybe think about that around election time.

  16. Im sure these are true for most part and in general. Of course there are exceptions as I was hired into a small company with mostly younger workers. Depends on your skillset.

  17. Loved the comment – “Chief Arrogant Officer”. (Let’s just see if he’s willing to turn over the reins of FB to a “smarter 30 something” when he hits the ripe old age of 49)

  18. I will be 60 in just 3 months. It will be very difficult now to find a job that actually is desirable.

  19. Too right it doesn't. I found this out years ago, so I became an entrepreneur out of desperation. But honestly when I look back I know that starting my own small business was a great decision.

  20. I was put on temp assignment where I was let go after two days. I was informed that I wasn't the right fit for the company when I returned home after the business day.I am sixty with chronic kidney problem. I went to the bathroom too often.When I first interviewed with the department manager, it was by zoom and the manager did not use the video feature. We spoke for over an hour.

  21. Corporate world is the domain of the NWO. Why would anyone want to work for Facebook, google, or the like? Those are the corporations that are curating all the junk data, and censoring relevant research.
    I am 60, and I work harder than most anyone I know who is under 40. I have a mushroom business I am moving out of America now.
    I was a waiter at a 5 star restaurant, I was rehired, after saying I would not work with a mask…..I can’t work for establishments that aren’t run well, too long have I made excuses for bad management. So, I quit after being rehired. The place is really crap now.
    Interviewing for restaurant work would be difficult for me now. It’s hard to be interviewed and judged as not looking young enough by younger people that most likely know less than I.
    I do construction, and it would be hard to work for anyone else on that front as well. I am a perfectionist, and I might spend a little extra time on doing cuts, but the results are always worth the effort. Younger people don’t understand that.
    I think it best to work for myself at my age.

  22. There has been a small recognition of this in the Republic of Ireland. For workers whose statutory retirement age is 66, workers aged 65 and over can claim unemployment benefit without having to look for work or sign on every week. It's been introduced because many workers who lose their job at 65 are unlikely to find another before their government pension starts at 66.


  23. when no one will hire you, hire yourself.

  24. So true. At 58 I was being pushed out of my corporate job. I left and attempted to find a new one. I discovered how difficult the interview process was when they saw my age.

    Fortunately, since Covid, many employers are finding it difficult to find people to work.

    Yes, I took a cut in pay, but I do have insurance and other benefits.

  25. They fail to realize, the younger workers aren’t necessarily smarter but more savvy. First whiff of getting shafted and these kids bail out. The patience of older workers in hopes that things will improve are the only reason a lot of businesses are going after the 2020 TP shortage.

  26. Love your videos. Now a member of the 50 club, and a former HR Director, your takes on HR are 100% spot on. I'm currently living in Portugal. In Europe, there is open and rampant ageism. I applied for several jobs and companies in several countries called me a "fossil." At 50! I'd be happy to speak sometime to the BS of HR.

  27. Now I feel like garbage today.

  28. Being old is being in hell on this planet.

  29. I'm sure glad you touched on this subject. In my early 60's, I am a bit behind on the software side of the job. We have guys in their 20's who grew up with computers.
    I see the subtle hints, and knit picking towards the older employees. I believe you're right about trying to make you quit.

  30. How depressing. I wish I'd never seen this.

  31. 50+ Culture needs to become a more prominent culture. As there has been a growing media attempt to highlight 50+ culture due to the growing market demands of its undeniable existence. If money is to be made by its youthful predecessors, this age bracket will be embraced more. It is up to wiser and senior individuals to drive the demand for their knowledge, experience, and presence in the work place. This would typically be facilitated by large scale media culture / popularity. The reality of wiser, experienced, senior individuals will not dissipate. It’s rejecting the ignorance as a more senior society having the confidence to thrive in this today’s climate.

  32. My experience is HR just facilitates hiring after that they are mostly hands off.