Is age a burden on your CV?

Who would you like to hire for your organization?

Candidate A – Shriram R has extensive experience in the field of accounts, finance and has held several managerial positions in India and abroad. He has specialized knowledge in the field of Internationally renowned Accounting Software packages like Quick Books, MYOB, Peach Tree, Sage, Quicken, Great Plains, Real World, FACT, Tally, WINBSF & Mediaware FA.
Expected salary: 1.8L

Candidate B – Sujay B.Com; 3 yrs exp in Tally
Expected salary – 4.5L

[Quoting real facts & figures while names have been changed.]

Now surely, most of you would think I have gone bonkers to even be asking such a question. But in reality it’s close to 4 months and Shriram is still-hunting for a job while Sujay has already jumped to another company for a higher salary. What is working against Shriram is sadly his ‘maturity’, the years of experience he has gathered now has turned into liability.

Meet the pissed off generation of today’s India – the other side of the new resurgent & shining India that the media never tires to talk about.

My friend who works for a well-known FMCG group in the human resource department claims to have seen more than her share of discrimination when it comes to recruitment. But what had even her fuming was that one of her candidate, who was ideal in all requirements, plainly got rejected once the management realized he was approaching 50.

Since when did 50 pronounce the end of a career?

Indian companies today prefer hiring younger employees. Reason? They view older workers as having less energy, low productivity, higher salary expectations and unwillingness to learn new technology. This couldn’t have been any further from the truth. Older workers require lesser job training and stick on to their jobs for longer.

Rejecting such applications, recruitment agencies & companies smugly reply back – “Your experience is way too much than what the job demands” Or “ We might not be able to meet your expectations”.
What they actually mean: You are too old or You may ask for too much money or Your way too senior to report to my young yuppie manager.

Take Rajeev (Actual name withheld on request), a 43-year-old general manager in Bangalore. He has got years of rich experience in operations–has even managed operations from real estate to a renowned transport corporation. After quitting his last job he’s been looking for a position at mid management level for the past one year. The repeated response he receives seems to be: “We are unable to find a suitable position for you.”

“I find it hard to accept that nobody requires my experience anymore,” he says. “Why doesn’t companies want to invest in someone who is 40+ years old?” Having got a family to run he now has joined a small NGO.

When some remark senior employees are there for just the salary. Is it not true there are people like that in every generation?

Despite all the media song & dance of the growing-rich India, middle class in India still struggles to meet the demands of education, medical expenses apart from the various tax woes. With the ever-rising cost of living in metro’s and unbelievably sky rocketed prices of realty it is impossible for an average 50-year-old employee to think of retirement. Why we don’t even have a social security allowance to fall back on!

The US too faced this problem but was quick to find an answer in the form of a job portal called www.jobs4point0.com, a job bank that caters to job seekers age 40 and older.
Does India have a similar answer to this burning issue?

The matured working population is saying, ‘Appraise me on my skills & experience, not on how many birthdays I’ve had’. Are organizations that endlessly talk about Corporate Social Responsibility paying heed?

[Cross-posted from whiterays]