When you’re starting a new business, it’s only natural that you want to hire people who have a lot of energy and are committed to seeing the business grow and thrive. For many new business owners in the financial, tech and other industries, that means bringing in relatively young people in their 20s and 30s.
There are a number of problems with limiting yourself to a fairly young demographic. For one thing, you could face lawsuits for age discrimination in hiring. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects those 40 and over from discrimination in hiring and throughout all phases of employment.
Beyond that, there’s a lot to be said for diversity of every kind in a workplace. Your new business can benefit from people who have had more than a few years of experience. Further, many clients feel safer trusting their money to someone with a few grey hairs and wrinkles than to someone with a fresh MBA diploma on the wall of their office.
Ensure you’re not unintentionally discriminating based on age
So what can you do to avoid unintentional discrimination in the recruiting and hiring process? There are a number of things. For example:
- If you’re using recruiters or staffing agencies, make sure they’re looking at applicants of all ages.
- Be careful that your ads don’t use language or photos that target only younger people.
- Don’t ask for college graduation dates.
- Post available jobs on a range of sites that target various age groups.
There is also applicant tracking software available that can help employers avoid unintentional biases of all kinds – including age biases.
We all tend to feel more comfortable around people we can relate to. However, by focusing on candidates’ qualifications, experience and skills, you can build a successful team and learn from each other. Having sound legal guidance is always helpful in avoiding unnecessary employment issues as you get your business off the ground.