Mixed feelings over EFA application form

Last week, Personnel Today reported on the radical new application form
created by the Employers Forum on Age. It removes all information concerning
age in a bid to tackle any bias in recruitment. But it could mean you receive
CVs that exclude educational details and career history. We asked for your
feedback on this radical approach. This is what you said.

Jacqui Irving, development and training administrator, Carlsberg UK

I first thought what a wonderful idea – to apply for a job based solely on
your credentials. However, there are some problems.

You have to say what credentials you hold, and because of the change in
certificate names over time, you can still get a rough idea of what age range
people fall into (for example, the change from CSE to GCSE). The same could be
said for names of institutions, such as polytechnics.

It’s all swings and roundabouts. If you really want to find out the
information then you can glean it regardless.

Judy Hamblen, managing director, Age Positive Recruitment

I am mortified that the EFA has produced such a form.

I strongly believe that we cannot and should not be expected to hide our
age. Age is what makes us the people we are, and the experiences and
difficulties we have encountered is what strengthens our characters and,
ultimately, arms us to face the challenges of our work.

It’s the employer who needs to take heed and recognise the fact that older
workers would much rather be retained as an employee on lesser hours/salary
than be cast aside.

Quentin Colborn, director, QC People Management

The application form looks appropriate for a recruitment process free of age
discrimination. One potential issue that will need to be addressed is the
approach many applicants take of attaching a CV to an application form. We may
find that recruiters take the view that those who do not attach a CV have
something to hide, and that the non-disclosure of dates or age-related data
indicates someone they would not wish to consider. But this should change with

John Haynes, HR manager, TRW Automotive

I agree with the EFA that applications forms should exclude all information
concerning age.

Bosses and HR managers who ignore age and interview potential employees on
their job match suitability, covering important factors such as skill and
experience, would be more pleasantly surprised and have a greater choice of
candidate to interview.

For example, a vacancy for an entertainment manager exists in a company.
There is an applicant, aged 63, looking for two years employment up to
retirement, but with long experience of entertaining, a pleasant laid back
style and attitude, and a proven track record of achievement. I doubt this
applicant would get an interview because of his age, but he probably would if
his age and other age-related information was excluded.

How many bosses would miss the chance of employing a 63-year-old Cliff
Richard as their entertainment manager for a couple of years?

To view the Employers Forum on Age’s proposed application form, go to www.personneltoday.com/goto/24245

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