Exploring Attitudes Toward Older Workers Among Australian Employers: An Empirical Study
The Haworth Press Inc
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
Research suggests that negative stereotyping is at the heart of age discrimination in not hiring older workers. As the aging of the population creates pressures to maintain older adults in the work force, it is important to gain knowledge of such stereotyping. A random sample of 128 hiring decision-makers across Australian industries responded to a questionnaire that was specifically developed to assess attitudes toward older workers. Results showed systematic negative stereotyping: Respondents indicated that they were unlikely to hire older workers. The likelihood of hiring significantly correlated with employers' attitudes. Specific attributes for which older workers were seen as inferior compared to younger workers included trainability, adaptability, creativity, and interest in new technology. The findings could inform policymakers and be utilized to develop interventions aimed to reduce hiring discrimination.