ТОП 10:

Age: Seeking a Generation Balance in the Workplace


Eighty percent of ail job advertise­ments specify an age range among the requirements. In the I T a special Law — the Age Discrimination in Employ­ment Act — protects people from em­ployment discrimination based on age. American employers can neither stipu­late age preferences nor ask candidates about their age or date of birth during interviews or at any other stage. This is also true of most European countries.

According to the Russian Constitu­tion and labour code, everyone has the same right to realize their labour poten­tial. According to the law employers do not have the right to reject an application on account of the candidate’s age with the exception of pilots, astronauts, rescue workers, law-enforcement officers and other similar occupations. In reality, however, the age of a candidate often plays a role in the recruitment process, and discrimination has always existed.

Large, successful companies avoid mentioning the preferred age of a candidate in a job advertisement. But all of them prefer a person under 45. Recruitment agencies have agreed that it is difficult for good specialists to find a job once they are more than 40-45 years old. But no company ad­mits the real reason for passing over such a candidate.

“The employer who knows the law about discrimination and human rights will never mention this reason to the candidate”, said a consultant at Ancor's corporate clients department.

Such attitudes are illegal, but can be well-grounded. The question is whether it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks.

For example, in an IT company that has young staff who have informal relationships and common interests, a woman in her fifties with the required skills applying for a vacancy could cre­ate a dilemma.

"Of course she may be able to do everything that is needed in the proj­ect, but such a new employee will not fit into the team well, and her joining the staff could cause problems within the project," said the General Manager of Arcadia ++.

Age discrimination can also be a factor in the jobs that include heavy physi­cal work. Employers may not want to recruit an elderly person for such work due to the worker s health.

Not all reservations are well- founded, however.

For example, many employers are reluctant to offer a job to a woman of child-bearing age. Their explanation is that she will probably soon take mater­nity leave. In such cases, candidates can take legal action against employers sus­pected of discrimination. But not every lawyer can prove that their client is right, and candidates may fear gaining a reputation as a confrontational worker. It takes a lot of nerve and de­mands strength of mind. Recruitment agencies advise candidates to spend their time and effort looking for a dif­ferent job with a suitable corporate culture.

The shortage of qualified person­nel, however, is forcing employers to broaden the age requirements of can­didates.

"Some consulting companies make it their practice to take on recent grad­uates of higher educational institutions who have no work experience. These former students are easily taught and do not have the disadvantage of having been trained to another company's cor­porate standards," said the managing director of Inter Comp St. Petersburg.

"Of course, only companies with a developed system of teaching and training and with a well-established corporate culture can afford to do so. Other employers have to take on ready talents whatever their age," she said.

In addition, the population crisis is leading to a shortage of young employ­ees and pushing up the average age of potential workers. In Europe, employ­ees in their fifties and sixties are valued no less than their younger counter­parts. Experience has shown that com­panies that are able to overcome all age stereotypes and use opportunities to transfer experience to the younger generations will only gain from doing so.

But most long-term job hunters are still either young people with no expe­rience or skilled people in their forties.

The task facing employers inter­ested in creating effective teams is to organize production in such a way that experience and young enthusiasm work together for the same goal.

Words to be memorized:


To seek – искать

Generation – поколение

Balance –равновесие

Employer – работодатель

Application – заявление о приеме на работу

Rescue worker – спасатель

Recruitment agency – агентство по найму

Skills – навыки, умения

Shortage – нехватка, дефицит

Work experience – опыт работы

Goal – цель

Child-bearing age – детородный возраст



1. Questions:


1) What law protects American people from employment discrimination based on age?

2) In what spheres have employers the right to reject an application on account of the candidate’s age in Russia?

3) Is it possible to teach “an old dog new tricks”?

4) Why are many employers reluctant to offer a job to a woman of child-bearing age?

5) What is forcing employers to broaden the age requirements of candidates?


2. Translate from Russian into English:


1) Работники более зрелого возраста являются ценным источником мудрости и опыта, которые они могут передать сотрудникам нового поколения.

2) В сферах космонавтики, службы спасения, авиации имеются возрастные ограничения.

3) В компании IT очень молодой штат сотрудников, с неформальными взаимоотношениями и общими интересами.

4) В сфере тяжелого физического труда оправданы возрастные ограничения при приеме на работу.

5) Некоторым компаниям удается преодолеть все возрастные стереотипы и использовать возможности передачи опыта молодому поколению, и от этого они только выигрывают.



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