Survey results revealed: Ageism

August 27th 2014 | Posted by phil scott

Survey results: Age discrimination in the finance industry

More than four in five FDs have witnessed or experienced ageism when it comes to hiring and firing, according to a new survey of industry professionals.

The FD Recruit workplace survey on ageism, which quizzed finance directors in an out of work from across the UK, found that 87% of respondents knew of instances when an individual’s age had counted against their chances of being recruited.

The survey also found that an FD’s golden years are in their 40s, when 78% enjoyed their largest financial rewards. Mirroring a new UK-wide Office of National Statistics study, earnings reportedly dropped as workers entered into their 50s.

However, the survey also included employers and found that many assumptions about elder workers were based on myths and misunderstandings.

Phil Scott, director of the survey’s creator FD Recruit, said: “We found that companies want to recruit younger workers so that they are more likely to stay in the role for a longer period. However, these same younger workers are more likely to up and leave for a better position or to change location, whereas those over 50 usually stay settled for longer. So, in reality, recruiters wanting stability should target older workers.”

Scott also noted that professionals over 50 are often more flexible in their work than their younger counterparts.

“It’s easier to assume that younger workers are more au fait with modern technology and have the exuberance to work to unusual working hours,” said Scott. “However, the over 50s often aren’t weighed down by the burden of a mortgage, they don’t have regimented family commitments and many are even beginning to specialise in part-time, ad hoc and interim work.

“That’s even before taking into account that the longer and FD has been working, the more valuable experiences – both good and bad – they have accrued and the more knowledge they can bring to a role.”

Scott concluded: “Recruitment is a complicated process and each situation has its own influencing factors, but we have found that age is not a good indicator of ability or suitability and rarely do the stereotypes applied to certain age groups actually bear a resemblance to the candidates we deal with.”