Age – an important factor in selection of candidates

There are a lot of things to be kept in mind while undergoing the process of employee selection. For some people, it is a cake walk with hardly any problems while for the others, it could be a path strewn with thorns. There are certain things and issues that need to be carefully tread on as it could not only hurt the feelings of the candidate but it could also undermine your professional qualifications to take an interview. One of the important issues that need to be comprehensively discussed before or during the interview is the issue of age.

Never discriminate on age

Age discrimination is illegal and should never be practiced in an interview room. It is a very subtle topic that often goes unnoticed but it still exists in different parts of the society. The best thing to do therefore before an interview is to make a list of the questions that you would be asking the candidate. After forming the list, you need to go through each question and mentally analyze the answer that the candidate is most likely to give. Through this process, you will understand whether your question hurts the mental or emotional balance of the candidate and whether there is indeed any room in which the candidate could misinterpret your answer. This will help you in unknowingly digging landmines in which the candidate is likely to fall.

Couple age with experience

When it comes to considering age in an interview process, it is always wise and good thinking to couple age with experience. Experience is a term that occupies greater prominence and importance when it comes to selecting a candidate for a job vacancy. Matching the organizational requirements of your firm with the skills and interests of the candidate is what needs to be done in the interview room. Age becomes a factor when looking at things from a physical bent of mind. But it is important to acknowledge the fact that the candidate could have lost a few years due to a personal reason and therefore the factor of age cannot be undermined at any cost.

Questions that could be avoided

  • How old are you? – This is a question that may sound very simple and straight forward at a first glance, but it could spring up a lot of mental thoughts in the mind of the candidate. You could probably ask the candidate whether he/she is legally old enough to work.
  • How well do you work under pressure, given the demanding nature of work? – This is again a question that challenges the physical capabilities of the candidate and his/her ability to work according to deadlines.
  • Do you exercise regularly and take nutritious diets? – If the question does not stand relevance in the field of recruitment such as IT, this question could mean that you are not satisfied with the health of the candidate.

Ageism is a factor that is being now very much discussed at the workplace. You need to ensure that you do quality recruitment in terms of age, but make sure that you do not challenge the physical or mental capabilities of the candidate.

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