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Survey sees age bias in corporate recruitment

BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi | July 31, 2003 08:40 IST

A recent NFO-HT Careers survey reveals that the corporate sector has a significant bias against recruiting older people.

"About 61 per cent of the HR managers contacted for the survey said they looked at the 'age' factor while recruiting. The HR heads linked performance to age and older employees were perceived to be less productive," Gautam Nath, director (corporate services), NFO India, said.

Grey area

  • 61 per cent of the HR managers contacted for the survey said they looked at the 'age' factor while recruiting
  • HR managers linked performance to age and older employees were perceived to be less productive
  • About 92 per cent of the companies surveyed had fixed the retirement age between 56 and 60
  • Most firms preferred higher energy levels over experience

About 92 per cent of the companies surveyed were found to follow a policy, whereby the retirement age was fixed between 56 and 60.

These firms emphasised more on attitude, inside-the-box thinking and energy levels than experience or knowledge-base. Those belonging to a higher age-group were perceived to be lacking in these areas.

The study, which was conducted during June-July 2003, covered HR managers of organisations based in the three major metros i.e. New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

A total of 61 corporate managers were interviewed spread evenly across the three centres. The companies covered included HSBC, BNP Paribas, J K Industries, Newgen Software, HPCL, Lucent Technologies, Mahindra & Mahindra, Britannia Industries, ICICI and Max India.

The study found that a lot of employers were more interested in quick-fix solutions, which meant that they did not always hire the right person all the time.

In a competitive environment where the lead-time to react was short and companies needed to be more proactive with their customers than before, it was the younger breed of managers who had an edge, primarily because of their ability to demonstrate high energy levels and their desire to grow and lead.

NFO WorldGroup, which is a part of the TNS group of companies, provides research-based marketing information and counselling.

Its services include counselling on market evaluation, product development, brand management, customer satisfaction, pricing, distribution and advertising effectiveness.

The group conducts Internet-based research and has serviced Fortune 500 companies among others in the last 50 years.

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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: If this industry has to mature, this bias needs to be corrected

It would be interesting to find out the composition of the companies who responded to this survey. Also, if one were to split organisation operations ...

Posted by Sanjay M Patel

Sub: Youth is preferred in recriuting personnel

It should be a perfect blending of youth and experience. energy can meet short lead time, but hurried activities often lead to misjudgement which may ...

Posted by Anindya Das

Sub: Age bias in corporate hire

It is true that all across age has become a factor for recruitment, in fact 40 and above corporate think twice unless it is specific ...

Posted by Reena Banerjee


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