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Are recruiters (finally) recognising the problem with generational stereotypes?

by on May 17, 2016

From time to time we have breathed a sigh of relief and shouted ‘finally’ at the computer screen when a news article appears to recognize the problematic nature of generational stereotypes.  Sadly, for each article that raises this possibility there are hundreds more shouting about ways to recruit, work with, engage, motivate  Generation <insert preferred label here>.  Regular readers will known we are liable to rant about this every couple of weeks!

So I was cautiously optimistic to find not one but two articles today highlighting concerns about how recruiters are using age-related and generational labels.

This article in FastCompany (“Why your company needs to stop recruiting “Digital Natives”) goes someway towards an understanding of the issues, though there is some reinforcement of the terms digital native and digital immigrant as valid categorisations of cultural difference which is very unfortunate.  Nevertheless if recruiters take heed of the advice to simply and clearly specify the specific technical and digital skills relevant to the position then at least that should help!

The second article addresses the issue from a legal perspective as Bloomberg BNA ask “Wanted: Job Listings free of ageist stereotypes“.  Indeed it often takes a legal imperative to make the HR world take notice of these issues so lets hope they get the message on this one.  Note that this article is written from a US perspective and therefore deals with age discrimination impacting those over 40 only – in the UK any one of any age can make a claim of age discrimination.

Want to read the academic argument behind the news stories?  Try a read of our paper: Baby Boomers and the Lost Generation: On the discursive construction of generations at work.



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