Are you being discriminated against?
With recent media exposure to the lack of employment for mature Australians - or the part time employment of mature Australians who have a lot of experience - we here at Chedda are making an effort to help you.
First, we want to hear from you if you feel that you’ve been discriminated against because of your age. We know of cheddas who’ve applied for jobs either full or part time, with extensive experience and capability for the job described - only to find they’ve never even been considered for the position offered.
Employers and recruitment agencies have devised ways of passing you by. Here’s the tricks they use:
They look at your CV. You don’t have to put your age on your CV these days - but prospective employers look at your history. If they see an ‘employment record’ stretching back years (no matter how good that history is), you go to the bottom of the pile. The more despicable they are, the chances are they will not even respond that they have your application.
This applies to both government and privately advertised positions.
Governments will often ‘fly a kite’ for a position, because they have to. Often they already have someone in their departments that they want to fill the position, but they must advertise the job. Effectively the job is not up for grabs. These jobs are often advertised through job agencies (often described as ‘recruitment specialists’) who ‘launder’ the job/s for the government ‘advertiser’. Regardless of your experience or your total ‘fit’ for the position, you will not get an interview, the excuse often being that the department has ‘changed the specifications’. Even though the position may have been advertised as ‘part time’, the excuse may be ...”the client is now looking for someone full-time...” The reverse happens too. The bottom line is that government departments use third-party agencies so they cannot be bought to account. The third party job agencies don’t mind, because they get a fee to place the ad, and then filter the poor shmuks who respond. The point is you’re never overtly ‘discriminated’ against - you just no longer ‘fit’ what they want. This is a convenient ‘bugger off’’.
The same happens with private enterprise, but private advertisers tend to be more open. The job they advertise is real, but again they look at your CV to determine your ‘fit’. Even though age discrimination is illegal in the advertising of job vacancies, there are very clear hints about the applicant they might deem worthy. Read the ‘code’ in the ads. Some companies will resort to using the terms...”this is a FUN job, and you’ll be growing into our new crew....” or “...we’re looking for hot shot NINJAS....” or “...you’ll be looking to prove your experience...” All of this means even though you’ve worked as a member of a ‘team’ in your past experience, or may be the best (older) NINJA in the world, or your experience doesn’t need proving, you won’t get a look in. Forget it.
Private enterprise advertisers also discriminate by seeking out workers who they want to pay bugger all, often for highly skilled positions. A recent advertisement by an up and coming engineering company sought to fill a position way outside the company’s understanding of the skills needed. The job application was clearly ‘workshopped’ by a roundtable of executives who had absolutely no idea of the position they were offering. By way of example, they wanted a brain surgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon, a professorial psychologist, and a chef wrapped in the one person, who was ‘offered the opportunity’ to ‘learn by the great experience’ they offered! One wonders who they ended up employing, but you can bet that person was some youngster who walked into the job all starry-eyed, but sadly would never meet the expectations or the company concerned.
This is in a sense ‘reverse discrimination’. The overwhelming likelihood is that the poor young person employed would be burnt emotionally because they would never be able to meet the needs of the job. The point is that there is little honesty in the securing of employment these days -- less so if you are a ‘mature’ applicant.
A further point of discrimination against mature applicants, is that you know your worth. To be offered employment at an hourly rate which does not take into account your wealth of experience and capability is often an insult. To follow on from the example above, the position best filled by a brain surgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon, a professorial psychologist, and a chef all wrapped into one person (assuming such a candidate existed) was only being offered $25 per hour!!! Working as a petrol station attendant pays about the same money!