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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Good Recruitment for Older Workers GROW Guide

Diversity and inclusion

The Centre for Ageing Better, in partnership with REC and CIPD, is publishing a guide on Good Recruitment for Older Workers, based on their Good Recruitment for Older Workers (GROW) project findings. This guide is designed to help organisations recognise the issues that age discrimination causes in the recruitment process and provide practical ways for employers to become more age inclusive.


The key findings of GROW can be found below, or you can download a copy of the GROW guidance to share with your staff and clients. The guidance also contains information and advice on the principles companies should apply to encourage age-inclusive recruitment as well as practical recommendations to implement these.


By following the principles in the guide employers can improve their work forces through recruiting inclusively and building a multi-generational workforce that is a ‘win-win’ for employers and staff alike.


Older workers can have a key role to play in the UK workforce still. REC D&I Ambassador Scarlett Allen-Horton describes the role older workers can play in a business as "instrumental" and said it would be a huge positive step for more business to make the most of the "phenomenal talent" available in these demographics.

The current recruitment environment

There's still some age discrimination in recruitment. The current recruitment environment is not as age-inclusive as it could be. More than a third (36%)1 of 50-69 year olds say they feel at a disadvantage when applying for jobs due to their age. They felt this as there was age discrimination in the recruitment process, from the language in job adverts to ageism by interview panels.

Why be age inclusive


Put age into ED&I

Age-inclusivity boosts the economy.£5.7m[1].JPG


Research shows that a 1% increase in the number of people aged 50-64 in work could increase GDP by around £5.7 billion per year and have a positive impact on income tax and National Insurance Contributions by around £800 million per year.


1% increase in the number of people aged 50-64 in work could increase GDP by around £5.7 billion per year.


Collecting age data can help identify specific diversity issues within your organisation so you can find solutions to them. Always ensure your collection, storage and use of data is GDPR compliant.

Collect and analyse the age profile of the current workforce as well as job applicants to evaluate whether job adverts are attracting candidates of all ages.

  • Emphasise employer benefits that might appeal to older workers, such as flexible working.
  • Frame and word job adverts with care, ensuring that they aren’t age-biased.
  • Circulate job adverts as widely as possible, using multiple digital platforms

Effects of age-stereotypical words and phrases, and CV features, on older applicants


  • Structure your interview process using multiple decision-makers, predefined questions and scoring mechanisms.
  • Use application processes that reduce explicit and implicit age cues.
  • Use language shown to promote age diversity
  • Ensure that staff are aware of how best to reduce bias and avoid discrimination in the interview process.
  • Avoid making assumptions about older workers on the basis of stereotypes.
  • Recognise the importance of age-inclusivity and build a workplace culture that acknowledges the contribution of people of all ages.