HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting

Baby Boomers Discuss Discrimination in the Hiring Process

As Millennials and Gen Z continue to infiltrate the workforce, much attention has been given to attracting and retaining these young workers. But what about Baby Boomers and Gen X? Have we completely overlooked the older generations when it comes to hiring top talent?boomers
A new iHire study shows that 52.5% of Baby Boomers have experienced age discrimination in their job search while 65.6% feel “very qualified” for positions for which they’re applying. The recruiting technology provider recently unveiled these findings, and more, from its survey of 1,265 U.S. Baby Boomer jobseekers.
“With more Baby Boomers postponing or coming out of retirement, iHire wanted to more closely examine this generation’s job search experiences and expectations,” says Steve Flook, iHire’s President and CEO—in a press release. “As the talent shortage and tight labor market continue to complicate hiring, employers should put their bias aside and consider what seasoned, eager, reliable, and highly qualified baby boomer candidates can offer.”
Notable findings from iHire’s survey include:

  • Baby Boomers are both actively and passively seeking new career opportunities:
    • 8% of Baby Boomers surveyed are unemployed and seeking a job, providing evidence of their interest in returning to the workforce and/or an uptick in Baby Boomer layoffs.
    • 56% are currently employed, supporting the upward trend of postponing retirement.
  • Baby Boomers have high confidence in their qualifications:
    • 9% feel either “very qualified” or “overqualified” for the jobs for which they are applying.
    • Less than 5% feel “somewhat” or “not at all” qualified.
  • Baby Boomers are experiencing bias in their job search despite their perceived qualifications:
    • In addition to the 52.5% who have experienced age discrimination, 44.5% believe their generation is unfairly stereotyped by today’s employers.
    • 9% of Baby Boomers who said they feel overqualified for jobs believe they’ve been subjected to ageism.
  • Baby Boomers value salary most in a potential employer, reinforcing a need to augment their retirement savings:
    • 5% selected “fair salary/compensation” as one of their top three most desired workplace offerings.
    • Health benefits, work/life balance, 401(k) options, and flexibility (telecommute/set your own schedule) followed as popular responses.

“Employers recruiting Baby Boomers should appeal to their specific wants and needs, just as they would for candidates from any other demographic,” Flook adds. “Provide ample compensation and benefits, give them more flexibility, and allow them to lead and mentor younger employees. It’s also a great idea to offer opportunities for part-time, consulting, or freelance work – an attractive option for boomers who aren’t ready to completely retire.”