Avoiding age bias in hiring is essential for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace…and avoiding a lawsuit. Age bias can lead to unfair practices and undermine the potential contributions of experienced individuals. With DEI in national security, we need diverse skillsets, and that includes professionals with age and experience and failures that they have learned from.

Five Ways to Avoid Age Bias in Your Hiring Process

Here are five ways to avoid age bias in your hiring process:

1. Use Inclusive Job Descriptions.

Craft job descriptions that focus on the skills and qualifications required for the position rather than implying a preference for a certain age group. Avoid language that might deter older applicants, such as “young and energetic,” “recent graduate,” or “digital native.” Instead, emphasize the value of experience, expertise, and a willingness to learn and adapt.

2. Implement Blind Recruitment Practices.

Blind recruitment helps to minimize unconscious bias by removing age-related information from resumes and applications. This can include omitting graduation dates, limiting the details of professional experience to relevant skills and achievements, and using anonymized application processes. This ensures that candidates are assessed based on their abilities and fit for the role, not their age.

3. Train Hiring Managers on Unconscious Bias.

Provide training for hiring managers and recruitment teams to raise awareness about unconscious bias and its impact on hiring decisions. Educate them on the importance of evaluating candidates based on their qualifications, experience, and potential contribution to the organization. Encourage a culture of inclusion where diverse perspectives, including those of different age groups, are valued.

4. Promote a Diverse Interview Panel.

Ensure that your interview panels are diverse and inclusive. Having a mix of ages, genders, races and backgrounds among interviewers can help counteract individual biases and provide a more balanced assessment of candidates. This approach demonstrates the organization’s commitment to diversity and can help create a more welcoming environment for applicants of all ages.

5. Evaluate and Adjust Hiring Practices Regularly.

Continuously review and analyze your hiring practices to identify and address any patterns of age bias. Collect data on the age demographics of applicants, interviewees, and hires to ensure that your recruitment process is equitable. Seek feedback from candidates and employees to understand their experiences and make necessary adjustments to improve fairness and inclusivity.

Almost 1/6 adults note that they were not hired for a position they applied to in the last few years because of their age, through a 2023 AARP survey. There are a few other recent age bias lawsuits, including a $2.4 million settlement from Eli Lilly, an $11.6 million settlement from PwC and an $11 million settlement with Google (Bloomberg). Implementing these strategies is critical so defense contractors can create a more inclusive hiring process that values the contributions of individuals regardless of their age, fostering a diverse and dynamic workforce.

Related News

Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸