A staggering 20% of over 50s have experienced ageism at interviews or work, and since 2019, nine out of ten newly inactive working adults are also over 50, reveals a YouGov study.
It is possible to turn ageism on its head and actively pursue the over 50s in recruitment campaigns, but not many companies seem to be embracing the idea and after all, why choose to focus on the older generation when there is an infinite pool of excited youngsters eager to make their mark as a professional?
This is where we need to stop and think of the implications of a senior exodus.
Let’s look at COBOL, a once radical programming language used by many banks and insurance companies. It’s been around for six decades and today is almost exclusively the domain of the over 40s.
No young aspiring programmer wants to learn COBOL, leaning instead towards the more modern C++, Python or equivalent. Yet the serious lack of young programmers knowledgeable in this language is causing a panic, and a whisper can be heard in the virtual corridors: Who will be able to take over their roles in a few decades once they leave the industry?
The question is pertinent for all companies for every time an employee retires or leaves, a vast amount of knowledge and experience exits the industry forever.