Managers’ Interview Decisions about Older Job Applicants: Effects of Human Capital-Related Characteristics, General Economic Conditions, and Changes in Job Demands

J. Oude Mulders, K. Henkens, Y. Liu, J.J. Schippers, M. Wang

Research output: Working paper/discussion paperWorking paper/Discussion paperScientific

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Abstract

Older job applicants are vulnerable to stereotype related bias in
the recruitment process. In the current study, we examined how managers’ job in
terview invitation decisions regarding older job applicants are influenced by a
pplicants’ human capital-related characteristics, general economic
conditions and managers’ experiences of changes in job demands.
Data were collected with two waves of a vignette experiment, three years apar
t, among a sample of 211 Dutch managers from various organisations. Multilevel analysis showed that managers were more likely to invite older job applicants who had matching qualifications, were employed at the time of application, and
came with recommendations. In addition, managers’ propensity to invite ol
der job applicants was higher in better economic conditions. The effects of recommendations were moderated by the general economic conditions and changes in job demands, such that a recommendation from another employer was especially influential in bad economic conditions, while a recommendation from an internal employee was especially influential when job demands had
increased. The results emphasize the importance of considering the organisational and economic context in understanding the recruitment of older workers. The findings also suggest that older workers, employers, and policy makers should invest in older workers’ human capital to protect their employability.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherNetwork for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement (NETSPAR)
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameNetspar Discussion Paper
No.09/2016-029

Keywords

  • older workers
  • recruitment
  • personnel selection
  • hiring
  • human capital
  • general economic conditions
  • job demands

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