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Equality in employment has always been a bit of a battle, and has been for more than the last 20 years. Race, gender, and religion have all been the subject of reform, and equality in pay and opportunities is always a tough area to cover. These days, age discrimination has become a major issue in recruitment. In comparison to how it was before the recession in 2008, the job market is now incredibly competitive thanks to a number of factors:

  • Graduates of higher education are increasing in number, making qualified candidates higher in number
  • Able employees who were made redundant during the recession are searching for employment
  • Professionals now seek to work longer to receive their pension.
So, for candidates, the main fear is that employers will go for graduates who cost much less, but can do professional jobs at a fraction of the price. One group on LinkedIn has been addressing these issues recently; allowing those who feel that inequality is still rife today to put in their two cents. The UK marketplace has been flooded with all sorts of questions regarding personal treatment. Social media has been full of real life stories and comments, and the aforementioned LinkedIn group has sprouted a good few members who have found somewhere to vent their opinion. In addition, the group Job Search Live has been voicing concerns regarding ageist recruitment. According to Jonathan Fieldhouse, Client Relationship Director at specialist online recruiters Director Appointments, there are a minority of employers within this mind-set. “Education is the only way forward for these employers," he says. "In my opinion, ageist recruiters are few and far between these days – this feeling of discrimination felt by candidates is an understandable sensitivity from backlash of the recession. If you are worried, look for roles that require you to fill in application forms instead. Generally speaking, these application forms do not have dates or other personal information on them. If they do, this information is purely for HR use." So, it looks like in actuality, times are changing for the better when it comes to older employees. “I was recently with a client in the North East," Fieldhouse continues, “and their HR team wouldn't dream of forwarding any personal information to the relevant department. It wouldn't matter if the person was 101 or 18 years old, they purely work on the skill set of each candidate and whether it matches what the line manager is looking for. “Within the next few years these issues of minority of discrimination are going to be settled and this will set the standard for the equal employment landscape. Equality and diversification is going to be a major influence in 2011+ and will assist everyone in the job market." Online recruiting is a prime alternative to traditional recruitment methods: recruitment agencies and printed press advertising are not as fast, cost effective, or direct.
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