The economy’s been especially tough on older, more experienced workers — which will likely cause age discrimination claims to go up even higher.
Just 28% of workers age 55 and older who were laid off in the past year have found new jobs, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. That’s compared to 71% for laid-off workers age 25 to 34.
The end result: A lot of “overqualified” workers are applying for jobs. The majority (63%) of laid-off workers older than 55 say they’ve applied for positions below the level of their previous job — and 44% say employers have told them they’re overqualified.
While the influx of experienced job seekers gives companies an opportunity to hire experienced talent at a low cost, it also opens a legal can of worms. Here’s some advice for hiring managers on how to avoid claims of age bias:
- Don’t ask interview questions about age, just about relevant experience.
- Avoid snap judgments about overqualified applicants — for example, don’t assume they’ll demand a high salary or will leave as soon something more prestigious comes up. Use the interview to learn those things.
- Don’t interview someone you know you won’t hire. It’s much easier for an interviewed applicant to sue than for someone who just sent in a resume.
- Consult with HR if someone asks why they weren’t hired.