Over-50s harder to place: recruiter

Consultant makes observation in response to US age discrimination case

When asked to comment in the wake of a court case in the US involving alleged age discrimination, one New Zealand IT recruiter, who declined to be named, told Computerworld that it’s harder for those aged over 50 to find jobs in IT in New Zealand than it is for younger applicants.

The perception of many employers, he says, is that older candidates are skilled mainly in legacy systems, and are unable to understand, work with and pick up more recent technologies.

“By and large, tech companies are made up of 20 and 30-somethings, and led by someone in their late 30s or 40s,” the recruiter says.

“People want to hire someone who will fit in with that group.”

The situation may change as the skills shortage gets wrose in the future, he says, with retiring baby boomers, those born in 1945 and the decade or so afterwards, being called on.

“There are predictions we’ll start to see baby boomers utilised for part-time, flexible positions.”

The recruiter says that at his own firm, there are relatively few candidates aged over 50 on the database.

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