Discrimination on the ground of age in employment has been acknowledged as an issue in many countries (Bennington & Roberts-Calvert, 1997). Most of the surveys suggest that the problem mainly affects older workers, aged 45-65 (Bendrick et al. , 1999). So nations have to issue kinds of legislations to prevent age discriminations (Bennington 1997). Bennington (1997) pointed out that in the process of recruitment; age discrimination in the advertising of jobs is prohibited by the anti-discrimination legislation in Australia.
For example, age requirements, such as person 27-35 required, should be avoided. Most employers don’t prefer to hire workers above 45 because they regard they should spend more resources on training old workers (Posner 1995: 329) and can’t get back the investments from old workers (Gibson et al. 1993). And some employers are misled by bias to underestimate the capabilities of older people (Palmore 1990). In the contrast, someone argues that ageism is not related to age with following evidences.
First is that the kind of “we-they” thinking that fosters racial, ethnic, and sexual discrimination is unlikely to play a large role in the treatment of the elderly worker (Posner 1995:49); second is that workers 65 or older can perform their jobs as well as younger workers in the same enterprise; it is the loss of employers when they use age as a means of recruitment; and employers are unlikely to harbour either serious misconceptions about the vocational capacities of the old or a generalized antipathy toward old people (Posner, 1995).
Not only old group receives negative treatments; any age group could be the target of age discrimination (Wood, Harcourt and Harcourt 2004). According to the survey, Duncan and Loretto (2004) argued that ageism has become less associated with older employees because of some factors. For instance, the range of “old worker” is hard to define in IT industry (Employers’ Forum on Age 2000).
Based on Duncan and Loretto’s survey (cited in Jones 2000) concluded some unequal treatments of young and old workers in the following table:Because of these stereotypes, it is necessary to restrict the coverage of legislation to carefully defined age groups (Institute of Directors 2001). There are a number of other issues that are not covered in the literature but they need to be highlighted to encourage further discussion and research.
For example, privacy implications for employer and job seeking when they use e-recruitment (Bemus 1998 and Kaphan 2002) Some legal risks, such as Unequal employment opportunity, discrimination may involve with e-recruitment, as internet itself may select against certain protected groups (Dwight 2002 and Kim 2001). It is clear that e-recruitment offers employer a comprehensive and diverse range of tools but what is not clear is whether it provides effective and efficient recruitment outcome.
This report illustrates that the position of recruitment in the human resource management is crucial. E-recruitment, as one of the recruitment methods, offers a fast, cost effective and efficient way to recruit staff. But it also drives some problems in the extremely competitive labor market. Gender discrimination and ageism are two main problems in equal employment opportunities.
In order to overcome gender discrimination, employers need to understand that gender discrimination still exists and is influenced by social, cultural, and economic factors. Ageism is another issue full of arguments: some employers don’t like to employ old workers; someone doesn’t think so; and someone supports early retirement. Recently, another argument states that any age groups could be the target of ageism. To address this, the first step is to restrict the coverage of legislation to define age groups carefully.