Impact of age norms and stereotypes on managers’ hiring decisions of retirees

Purpose -Our study investigates the role of managers in the re-employment of early retirees and asks what the effect is of managers’ age norms and stereotypes on managers’ employment decisions.Design/methodology/approach – A combination of a factorial study and a survey was conducted. First, information on the age norms and stereotypes was collected. Secondly, profiles of hypothetical retired job applicants were presented to the employers, who were asked to make a specific hiring decision. The information collected during both studies was combined in the analysis and multilevel models were estimated.Findings -The results indicate that higher age norms result in a higher propensity to hire an early retiree. Stereotypes, by contrast, do not influence managers’ decisions. Early retirees’ chances for re-employment are also related to their own circumstances (physical appearance and relevant experience) and organisational forces, as they are hired when organisations face labour force shortages.Research limitation / implications – with the use of vignettes study we deal with hypothetical hiring situation.Originality value – Although the effect of age norms and age stereotypes has been often suggested, not much empirical evidence was presented to support this notion. Our study estimates the effect of age norms and stereotypes on hiring decision.

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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