There has long been a concern among older adults regarding age discrimination in the workplace. For a while, it centered on the baby boomers as they climbed past 40 and 50. But today, the concept of ageism in the workplace affects the Generation X and, within a few years, will even affect the oldest millennials in the job market. While things are changing for the better, there are industries where youth is still sought after by employers. In order to ensure fair hiring practices, experts encourage companies to focus less on age and more on skills or potential. Here are some things to consider when making your next hiring decision.

Let Go of Assumptions

One of the perceived notions regarding workers over 40 is that their skills are outdated or that you can’t “teach old dogs new tricks.” But these perceptions are simply untrue. It’s more about individual personality than anything specifically related to age. While you’re going through the interview process, try to let go of your ideas of what a person over 40 brings to the table.

Focus on Track Record

What you should be looking at is their performance over their career. Look at where they’ve worked, how long they’ve worked for other employers, and why they are looking for a new job today. Talk to them about their accomplishments and look at them through the lens of what this person could do for your company if given the same opportunity.

Loyalty and Reliability

Another thing to focus on when it comes to hiring over 40 is job stability. A current concern about the younger generation of workers is that they job hop. And while this is as much of a misconception as an over 40 worker’s inability to learn new things, it may be helpful to look at their long-term commitment and sense of loyalty to an employer.

Experience and Confidence

Ultimately, a worker over the age of 40 will simply have more experience than a recent college grad. And we’re not saying that there isn’t a benefit to hiring young and eager workers that you can mold to fit your company. But what we are saying is hiring for diversity of thought will only benefit your organization. Bringing an over 40 employee in who has years of experience and a strong sense of self-confidence will enhance your entire team and provide mentor opportunities for your younger employees.

Are you looking for an experienced employee for your open position? Contact Harvard Resource Solutions to learn more today.