A Playbook for the Inclusive Hiring of Later-Career Workers | The Burning Glass Institute and AARP

Talent Acquisition

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According to a recent Bain & Company reportworkers aged 55 and older in developed countries will exceed 25% of the workforce by 2031, nearly 10 percentage points higher than in 2011. Japan stands out as an extreme case, with individuals aged 55 and older expected to make up nearly 40% of the workforce by 2031. As organizations strive to leverage this expanding workforce segment to fulfill their talent requirements, this new 17-page paper by the Burning Glass Institute offers insights. It begins with the premise that current recruiting and screening processes often disadvantage older workers, leading to unfair hiring outcomes. For instance, at least 1 million job postings in 2022 alone included age-biased language, such as “digital native” and “recent graduate,” despite a 23% decline in such language since the start of the pandemic. This biased language is more prevalent in job postings for firms comprised mostly of younger workers, indicating that biased hiring practices result in disparate workforce representation. Moreover, screening software applications, such as Applicant Tracking Systems, sometimes use age-biased mechanisms like maximum years of experience, excluding many qualified older workers. The playbook presents several recommendations to address these challenges, with Page 11 specifically illustrating five adjustments organizations can make to their screening processes.