Gen Z interview
Job applicants from Gen Z and the 60+ demographic face a tougher challenge in being favoured by hiring managers. Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels

When hiring for a job vacancy, employers consider various factors. According to a recent study by Resume Builder, age plays a significant role in the decision-making process, with 42% of 1000 surveyed hiring managers admitting to considering a candidate's age when reviewing their resume.

The study revealed that Gen Z applicants face bias, with 36% of managers admitting to being biased against 18-27-year-olds. The main reasons cited for not hiring Gen Z staff were their lack of experience (78%), tendency to switch jobs frequently (63%), and unprofessional attitude (58%).

Almost half of the hiring managers were reluctant to hire Gen Z candidates because they believed their company would benefit from not recruiting younger talent. Resume Builder's Chief Career Advisor, Stacie Haller, explained that COVID-19 has made employers more biased against younger people.

She said, "The challenges posed by the pandemic have disrupted how entry-level candidates learn to be successful in the workplace. Due to remote work arrangements, Gen Zers may not have had the same opportunities to acquire foundational skills through on-the-job learning."

The study also found that people over 60 face age bias when job hunting, with 34% of employers lacking faith in hiring applicants from that demographic. The reasons cited included the belief that retirement is imminent for most applicants over 60 (74%) and the higher chance of their health deteriorating (64%).

Employers were also concerned that those over 60 might struggle to navigate the latest technology due to a lack of experience (48%) and might not be quick enough when working (40%). The study also revealed that how a job applicant dresses for an interview can contribute to age bias.

41% of hiring managers claimed that elderly-looking candidates are less likely to be considered for a vacancy. 36% of respondents suggested that applicants over 60 should try looking more youthful when dressing for interviews.

Similarly, appearing too youthful put off 19% of employers when considering younger candidates, with 36% advising Gen Z applicants to look older in their appearance for interviews. The study found that hiring managers use various methods to identify an applicant's age, such as observing their years of experience, graduation year, and profile photo.

Employment and recruitment platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor were also found to contribute to age bias by including past education and work dates and giving away an applicant's age.

To combat age bias, career advisers on social media have suggested that applicants avoid including their graduation years on their CVs and LinkedIn pages.

This ensures that younger people are not turned away for having little experience, and older people are not singled out for the typical tropes attached to senior workers.