UAE jobs: Why some employees don't get hired after a certain age

Lack of modern workplace behaviour, growing competition and increased automation are among the reasons


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 29 Jan 2023, 9:09 AM

Last updated: Sun 29 Jan 2023, 10:20 PM

Some employees in the UAE find it difficult to land a job after a certain age due to their non-specialised roles amidst increased automation, their lack of modern workplace behaviour and culture and growing competition in the labour market.

Human resources and recruitment consultants say that in order to stay relevant in the job market, middle-aged employees need to constantly upgrade themselves professionally because employers find it easier to mould younger employees than aged workers.

In addition, the UAE’s job market is quite vibrant and finding young talent from other countries is much easier due to the country’s policies to attract the best talent into the country.

Deepa Sud – CEO, Plum Jobs, a Dubai-based executive search consultancy, explains that fostering a multi-generational workplace requires enormous amounts of time and patience but many organisations do not have the resources to create this environment. Therefore, they opt for what they perceive to be the easier option of recruiting younger candidates who they believe are more likely to learn quickly and are more adaptable.

Roles that are at a disadvantage

Nikhil Nanda, director of Innovations Group, other than senior management or c-suite level positions, it is surely more difficult to land a job at an older age.

“Generalist or non-specialised roles where experience plays less of an advantage is always more difficult to land for someone older,” he said.

Deepa Sud said with fewer jobs available with the advancement of automation and technology, more mature individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to secure their next role for a variety of reasons such as a lack of upgrading their skills, qualifications and technology capabilities.

“We often see middle-aged candidates who have not progressed significantly in their careers being made redundant because they lack modern workplace behaviours and skills. Candidates who are 45 years and older have priceless knowledge, expertise and experience but often this is lost when ageism is prevalent in an organisation,” said Sud.

How to get a job after 45?

With an ageing population and rising cost of living, Plum Jobs chief executive advised that most people will need to work longer to sustain a reasonable lifestyle.

“As we age, we should focus on our mental and physical agility whilst learning newer technologies and embracing the power of data to improve the way we work and interact with colleagues and customers,” she said.

Nikhil Nanda advised middle-aged employees to add more skills, focus more on technology, evolve to newer practices in the market, and essentially remould themselves.

“Continuously learning new skills will ensure there is an edge over the younger candidates. Employers have a slight preference for hiring younger people due to the mouldability and growth potential of the candidates. If elder candidates can explicitly prove a level of flexibility and ambition, then I believe employers will definitely be more open to hiring them. There is always a large amount of experience pegged to an older candidate which the organisation can benefit from,” he added.


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