How Skill Requirements Affect the Recruitment Likelihood of Older Workers: The Indirect Role of Age Stereotypes

  • Kène Henkens Kène Henkens
  • Konrad Turek Konrad Turek

This article analyses the role of age stereotypes in the employability of older people. Unlike in extant studies, we shift emphasis from stereotypes to job requirements during recruitment. Using five waves of a large-scale, representative employers’ survey from Poland, we analyse how the likelihood of recruiting people who are over 50 years old depends on the skill requirements defined by employers for vacancies offered. This study uses a real-life framework, with real employers and real vacancies that reflect labour demands at the scale of an entire national labour market. Results suggest that some job requirements lead to age bias during recruitment, and the chances of an older candidate being hired are especially hindered
by high requirements regarding computer and training skills. By illustrating an indirect link between age stereotypes and age discrimination, this study contributes to understanding the mechanism that affects low employability of older people.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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