As Generation Z (Gen Zers) enter the workforce, companies question how hireable these young workers are – due to their age. Additionally, age discrimination against older employees has long persisted in the workplace, and currently, more retirees and senior candidates are looking for jobs in response to the high costs of living and the labor shortage.

In March, surveyed 1,000 hiring managers to understand the prevalence of ageism in the workplace in 2024.

Key findings:

  • 42% of hiring managers consider age when reviewing resumes
  • 4 in 10 have age bias against Gen Z candidates
  • One-third admit to age bias against senior candidates
  • 1 in 3 say an elderly appearance deters them from considering an applicant, while 1 in 5 say the same about a youthful appearance
  • Nearly half believe that LinkedIn contributes to ageism

4 in 10 Consider Age When Reviewing Resumes

When reviewing an applicant’s resume, 42% of hiring managers say they consider an applicant’s age. In our previous research, 38% of hiring managers admitted outright to reviewing resumes with age bias.

During this process, hiring managers say they use a variety of methods to determine a candidate’s age range. Of those who consider age, 82% say they look at a candidate’s years of experience. Additionally, 79% learn job seekers’ ages from their graduation year and 46% from their photo.

“By scrutinizing education and work history timelines, employers may inadvertently introduce bias based on age, rather than focusing on the candidate’s qualifications and suitability for the role,” says Resume Builder’s Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller.

”Ageism remains a prevalent issue in the workforce, affecting individuals both early and later in their careers. Regrettably, many hiring managers continue to rely on age as a determining factor in their recruitment decisions. This practice presents a significant disadvantage, as one’s age should never dictate their potential for success in a role, provided they possess the requisite skills and experience.”

41% say some job seekers shouldn’t indicate their graduation year on their resume

A number of hiring managers say candidates sometimes shouldn’t (28%) or never should (13%) put their graduation year on their resume. Conversely, 60% say job seekers should always provide this date.

Hiring managers suggest candidates with the following graduation years do not list the year on their resume:

Graduated from 0-2 years ago (20%)
Graduated from 3-5 years ago (19%)
Graduated 6-10 years ago (23%)
Graduated 11-15 years ago (21%)
Graduated 15-25 years ago (24%)
Graduated 26 or more years ago (25%)

“Graduation years often serve as a gateway for age-related discrimination rather than a genuine indicator of qualifications. As we strive for inclusivity and fairness in recruitment practices, it may be time to reassess the relevance of including graduation dates in the hiring process altogether,” says Haller.

1 in 2 believe LinkedIn contributes to age bias

Of hiring managers, 46% believe that LinkedIn contributes to age bias in the hiring process. In comparison, 35% believe Indeed contributes to age bias, and 30% say that of Glassdoor.

“LinkedIn, along with other platforms, routinely prompt users to input dates when entering their education and work experience. This practice mirrors the inclusion of dates on resumes, which can inadvertently reveal a candidate’s age,” explains Haller. “Consequently, hiring managers often turn to platforms like LinkedIn or even Facebook to glean insights into a candidate’s age when such information isn’t readily available on their resume.”

“Platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed could play a role in fostering greater awareness and mitigating age-related discrimination by revisiting the necessity of including dates in their user profiles. This shift would contribute to a fairer and more equitable hiring landscape, where candidates are evaluated based on their skills, experience, and potential rather than their age.”

4 in 10 Have Concerns About Hiring Gen Z Candidates

Overall, 36% of hiring managers admit to age bias against Gen Zers (ages 18 to 27).

Of this group, 77% express concerns about Gen Z’s lack of experience, 58% about their unprofessional attitude, and 63% about their tendency to job hop. Additionally, 50% have doubts about Gen Z’s reliability, and 46% question their work ethic.

In 2022, hiring managers also raised concerns about younger employees. For candidates under the age of 25, 40% worried about job hopping, 39% about their lack of experience, and 33% their reliability.

Of hiring managers who have age bias against Gen Z, 46% say it’s beneficial to the company to avoid hiring Gen Z candidates.

“Our surveys have shed light on the reasons behind managers’ reluctance to embrace Gen Z, often citing concerns about their lack of experience, professional skills, and tendency for high turnover rates,” says Haller. “Much of this sentiment has been exacerbated by the challenges posed by the pandemic, which has disrupted how entry-level candidates learn how to be successful in the workplace.”

“Unlike previous generations, Gen Zers may not have had the same opportunities to acquire foundational skills through on-the-job learning due to remote work arrangements. Many companies and managers were unprepared to provide the necessary training and onboarding support tailored to this unique group, further exacerbating negative biases.

“Recognizing the distinct needs and potential contributions of this generation is essential for fostering a more inclusive and productive work environment for all parties involved. Age bias should not exist no matter the age of the candidate.”

1 in 3 Have Concerns About Hiring Seniors

In total, 34% of hiring managers expressed concerns about hiring candidates over the age of 60.

Of hiring managers with this view, 74% raise concerns about seniors’ likelihood of retirement and 64% about their potential health issues. Additionally, 48% have concerns about seniors’ lack of experience with technology, and 40% say they work too slowly. Finally, 39% worry about seniors’ fixed mindset, 30% about their need for more time off, and 20% about their poor social skills.

These concerns have become more prevalent among hiring managers. In our 2022 report, fewer hiring managers held these concerns about hiring seniors; 37% noted a lack of experience with technology, 37% about potential retirement, and 34% about their fixed mindsets.

Of hiring managers with age bias against senior workers, 64% believe it’s beneficial to the company to avoid hiring senior candidates.

“Age bias against older workers persists despite changing realities in the workforce,” says Haller. “Outdated assumptions about retirement, health issues, and technological proficiency continue to plague many hiring decisions. However, it’s clear that these beliefs are no longer aligned in today’s world.”

“Remote work has shattered traditional barriers, allowing individuals to continue working well beyond previous retirement ages. This shift is driven by various factors, including the desire for continued financial stability and the opportunity to remain professionally engaged. In my private practice, I frequently witness older individuals embracing remote work as a means to extend their careers and continue to feel engaged.”

4 in 10 Say They Are Deterred If Applicant Appears Elderly in Interview

During interviews, physical appearance was also found to contribute to age bias – especially for senior candidates. In fact, 41% of hiring managers say if a candidate has an elderly appearance, they are deterred from considering them. More than one-third (36%) of hiring managers recommend candidates over 60 make an effort to appear younger in interviews.

Young appearances also lead to discrimination. Of hiring managers, 19% say that a youthful appearance turns them off from considering an applicant, with 36% recommending that 18 to 27 year-old candidates try to appear older during interviews.

“Both younger and older job seekers must recognize that ageism exists within the hiring process,” explains Haller. “Implementing practical strategies such as removing graduation dates from resumes and LinkedIn profiles, only showcasing job experiences from the past 15 years, and adopting modern email addresses are some ways to effectively combat age-based bias.”

“By embracing age diversity and fostering an inclusive environment, companies can tap into a wealth of talent and experience while also attracting and retaining top performers. Ultimately, combating age bias, whether against younger or older workers, is a strategic move that benefits everyone.”


This survey was commissioned by and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish. It was launched on March 21, 2024. Overall, 1,000 hiring managers completed the full survey.

To qualify for the survey, all participants had to be over the age of 25, have a salary of over $50,000 and work for a company with more than 11 employees.

For all media inquiries, contact [email protected].