DHR 403: ISSUES IN MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES TERM PAPER AGE AS A FACTOR IN EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS ? Introduction Employment decisions are influenced by a variety of factors, age being one of them. Age determines who is hired and who is fired. It also influences the kind of jobs people seek.

Stereotypes revolving around age influence management decisions concerning employees. Older workers are generally considered to be less creative and more averse to change than older workers. This paper seeks to identify how age influences different employment decisions.It will look into different age groups such as generation Y and the Baby Boomers. The characteristics of these age groups greatly influence how employers treat their employees.

A. Hiring Age is indirectly related to experience. People who are older usually have more work experience then younger folks. Employers who require a certain number of years as prior experience usually lock out people of certain ages. This is so especially in professional firms.

Experience requirements create a Catch 22 for generation Y because they cannot be hired without experience yet they have to work to gain that experience.The ICT industry behaves contrary to other industries in terms of hiring. In this industry, age is not an important factor in hiring. Technological savvyness is more important.

Older employees are technologically challenged. Generation Y employees are tech savvy and hence get hired more in this industry. B. Motivation Motivation is what keeps employees excited about their work. Motivated employees work better than demoralized ones. Employers should consider age while designing reward and motivation packages.

Older workers between 50-60 years are interested in their retirement. Rewards that improve their pension packages would most likely motivate them. •Workers between 40-50 are likely to be struggling to pay tuition fees for their children. They would prefer scholarships and education insurance schemes. •People between 25-35 are likely to be getting married and starting families. Such are keen to purchase houses and family cars.

Mortgage plans could keep them motivated. •Young workers below 25 (Generation Y) do not live to work, rather they work to live.Unlike their parents who would be motivated by great pension plans, these ones are looking for flexible working hours and opportunities to travel. Managers have to get more creative in designing their reward and motivation packages.

C. Firing Companies might be faced with situations where they require to restructure by downsizing. Age is one of the factors which determines who leaves and who stays. Older workers will usually get an early retirement since they are close to retiring anyway. Younger employees will be retained for their creative edge (Week, 1999).

Older employees of the traditionalist generation are technically challenged compared to generation Y employees (Ashthana, 1999). Therefore, where the restructuring is brought about by obsolete technology, which has to be replaced, then older employees will be let go. If the new technology requires re-training, younger employees are easier to deal with since they are not change-averse. D. Promotion A promotion is a move up the organizational ladder.

Promotions can be awarded based on a set structure or at management’s discretion. The traditional generation valued promotions a lot.As such, they worked hard to attain them. They stayed in organizations for long, gained experience and became competent. Employers prefer to promote this generation due to their consistency.

Generation Y employees are not loyal to their employers. They can change jobs easily as long as it is convenient to them. This reduces their chances of being promoted where length of service matters. In organizations where age is an important factor in promotion decisions, generation Y also loses out. However, this generation is achievement focused and can get promoted in organizations which promote based on performance.

E. Transfers Transfers are common in multi-national companies. They can be inter-country transfers, inter-regional, or inter-continental. They usually require an employee to move away from where they are currently stationed. Transfers signify a huge change in an employee’s life. Older employees are not favourites for transfers.

People above 40 usually have families, homes and stable lives. They cannot afford to be globe trotters even though they are qualified for the transfer (Butanyi, 2010). They would like to see their children grow and to spend time with their families.Younger employees are excited by the prospect of transfers. They view them as opportunities to travel and enjoy the world. Since they have few or no commitments, members of Generation Y tend to get transferred more often than older employees.

Conclusion It is true that age greatly influences employment decisions. Hiring, firing, promotion and transfers all depend on age to some extent. However, employers should be careful not to discriminate based on age. There are legislations against such practises and they could face penalties.

Companies should also have flexible policies regarding age since rigidity can cause them to lose out greatly. References Ashthana, A. (1999). They Don't Live for Work, They Work to Live. The Guardian , 5-7. Butanyi, C.

(2010). For Generation Y,Succeeding at an Early Age is Key. The East African , 20-23. Week, B. (1999).

Generation Y. Business Week , 2-5. Warr, Peter Age and employment. Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, Vol. 4 (2nd ed. ).

http://www. eeoc. gov/facts/age. html http://research. dwp. gov.

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