Older workers are twice as likely to be recruited by business owners in the UK than younger candidates with the same skills and experience, says a new study.
The research says that more than a third of SME business owners (the study surveyed 1,000 SME business owners) would sooner recruit a 55-year-old worker than a younger candidate of 24 years-old with the same CV.
According to the data gathered in the study, the reasons for this include the fact that younger workers were seen as less productive and more likely than older workers to take time off.
The researchers also surveyed over 1,000 employees and found that more than half of 16-23-year olds felt age was the reason they have been overlooked for roles, compared to 29% of those aged 39-54 and a third of those aged 55-72. The study, by Benenden Health, also found that workers aren’t generally consulted by their bosses on the healthcare they would like, despite having different health concerns depending on their age.
Younger workers, for example, revealed that they place value on mental health support, counselling sessions and life skill lessons, whereas older generations said regular medical checks and flexible working were top of their list of potential healthcare benefits. Yet, despite this, as many as 85% of SMEs reported that they don’t have a healthcare package in place for employees above statutory allowances, with 44% of those without one claiming they don’t believe it is necessary and as many as 36% saying they don’t believe a strong health and wellbeing package is valuable in recruiting and retaining employees.