6. Focus on ability, not age
Faheem Salaam, a bank manager of large-dollar accounts, found himself restructured out of a job after 28 years.
Two years and a dozen interviews later, Salaam can’t find a job. What bothers him more than being unemployed is his perception why: At age 60, no one wants to hire him.
One interviewer even crossed a legal boundary by telling Salaam that, although the bank needed someone with his abilities, it wanted someone younger.
“It was at that point I fully realized that my age would be a barrier to my employment,” he says. Salaam contacted every employer he interviewed with to find out why he wasn’t hired. Only a handful responded. “I cannot believe, given my experience and education, that I cannot find work.”
Make sure hiring managers, recruiters and interviewers have a clear understanding of age discrimination laws and more subtle forms of age bias. This can be done through ongoing training on age diversity, as well as by fostering an atmosphere where talent and ability, not age, are the deciding factors.
See also: Experienced workforce quiz
7. Use social media to find top talent
Social media as a recruiting tool is growing in adoption and importance. AARP’s Life Reimagined for Work is the first talent exchange dedicated to helping employers find experienced workers and to helping experienced professionals connect to more satisfying careers.
More than 275 companies already participate in Life Reimagined for Work. They’ve publicly affirmed the value older workers bring to their organizations by signing the Life Reimagined for Work Pledge. It demonstrates their commitment to recruiting across diverse age groups and considering all job applicants on an equal basis.
Moreover, the Life Reimagined for Work Discussion Group on LinkedIn, with more than 20,000 members, is a vibrant online community where valued employers can connect with experienced workers — post jobs, engage in discussions, and share updates and best practices with other employers and job seekers.
Worried that older workers aren’t on social media? Don’t be — almost three-quarters (71 percent) of boomers use social media, according to the GlobalWebIndex. And people 50-64 are the fastest-growing demographic group on Twitter (up 79 percent since 2012), Facebook (up 46 percent) and Google+ (up 56 percent).
Find out more about resources for employers at AARP’s Employer Resource Center online at www.aarp.org/Employers.
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