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Advertising Ageism

While HR leaders and hiring managers may not intend to exclude older workers when they use these common phrases in job descriptions and interview assessments, that can be the unfortunate result, experts say.

Words to Watch

Why They Matter

“Digital native”

May discourage qualified applicants who didn’t come of age with digital and mobile tech—even some as young as their 30s.


Often a euphemism for young.

“Ninja” or “guru”

These trendy buzzwords are likely unfamiliar—or unappealing—to older candidates.

“GPA of 3.5 or higher”

Sends the message that you’re looking for employees at a life stage where these assessments remain relevant.


Since experience often correlates with age, this term can be used to mask age bias.

“Meals included”

Implies an expectation that workers don’t have a family waiting for them to come home for dinner.

“Bad cultural fit”

Can be problematic if your culture is overtly youth-oriented.

In the hiring process it is wise to watch the words so that they don’t convey age bias.  Words to describe people such as “old school” “hippie” or “has been” convey an older worker who may not have current computer skills.  This is not the rule however because about 19 percent of the workforce is people over the age of 65, many having great computer skills.

At eAssist, if you can pass the muster of the skills assessment, experience with dental software and personal interview you can get a job at any age.


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