8 in 10 workers believe younger, older jobseekers have hard time finding suitable employment: Survey

More than two-thirds say employers should actively recruit from both cohorts

Most Canadians believe it is harder for both younger and older workers to find a suitable job, found a recent survey.

When asked to rate their agreement on the statement "I believe it is hard for young people (aged 25 or younger) to find suitable job," 86 per cent of Canadian respondents agreed or agreed strongly. Similarly to the statement "I believe it is hard for older people (aged 55 or older) to find a suitable job," 89 per cent of the respondents agreed or strongly agree, found Randstad’s latest Global Workmonitor, which surveys at least 400 employees in each of the 32 participating countries (including Canada).

The same question asked in the United States saw less pessimism when it came to young people, with only 64 per cent of respondents agreeing with the statement. While for older workers agreement was similar with 87 per cent.

Canadian respondents felt that both younger and older workers would be willing to accept work below their education levels — with 86 per cent agreeing that younger works would do so, and 77 per cent agreeing that older workers would too.

"In an increasingly competitive market, companies may be hesitant to make the larger investments in more experienced workers; or smaller investments in those who are untested. But as the labour market faces impending skills shortages, companies need to invest in training the new generation of workers to replace those skilled workers that will soon leave. They also need experienced workers who can act as mentors and help facilitate the integration of young employees," said Jan Hein Bax, president of Randstad Canada.

While people believe it is hard for both young and old people to find suitable jobs, they also think organizations should hire younger and older talent. Three-quarters (78 per cent) of those Canadians asked think it is good for their company to actively recruit young people, while 66 per cent think it is good to recruit older people.

Older workers bring stability and a deep knowledge of their field, which can be instrumental in critical decision making, said Bax. On the other hand, younger workers easily adapt to change and have a fresh outlook on the latest technology and industry trends that can lead to innovation in processes and product development.

"Workers are embracing a more diversified workforce and are seeing the benefits of building a workplace with multiple generations,” said Bax. “Organizations definitely benefit from both the invaluable experience of older workers and the creative thinking of the younger workforce."

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