Can you restrict your hiring options to candidates of a certain age?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2021 | Workplace Discrimination |

When you’re coming up with the perfect candidate, you may have an age range in mind. Maybe you already have a relatively older workforce, for instance, and you want to bring on someone who is younger for their perspectives, technological proficiency and energy.

Maybe you even think they would help your brand connect with a young audience, which is important to you. Can you target them specifically with your job postings?

Targeting an age range in your hiring practices is a bad practice

While it’s important to understand the type of person that would most benefit your business, be wary of locking in on a certain age or even adding age requirements to a job posting. This can absolutely qualify as age discrimination, and you could face legal action. You cannot discriminate against workers who are older than 40 years of age. Companies have even caught flak for saying that they want to hire “recent college graduates”, as that is seen to imply that they want people in their 20s. 

This doesn’t mean you have to hire someone who is over 40 years of age, of course. But all applicants deserve the same opportunities and the same treatments. You cannot make your decision based on age alone, and you certainly can’t refuse to take applications or resumes from those who are older. You need to give everyone an equal opportunity to show their value to your company, and then you can choose the person who is the best fit. 

What if you do face legal action?

If your company has been accused of age discrimination in hiring or treatment of employees, you need to know all of your legal options. These allegations must be taken seriously.