How does age affect workplace knowledge?
Research has been released that suggests there's a difference between the knowledge younger and older generations can supply in their place of work.
They study was produced the American Psychological Association (APA),and suggests older staff are more likely to possess "crystallised intelligence" compared to their younger counterparts. This is defined by the APA as including skills such as verbal ability, as well as knowledge that has been accrued through years of experience in their chosen fields.
It is not all bad for younger workers however, with the research revealing they had a distinct advantage in "fluid intelligence", the ability to reason or make decisions. This was found to be significantly higher in participants who were under the age of 30.
The article states that prior learning has no bearing on fluid intelligence, which instead decreases with age as crystallised intelligence increases. This has the potential to affect business development decisions, especially when it comes to hiring new employees.
Having candidates complete aptitude tests during their application can assist with this, but the APA recommends modifying the questions based on the age groups you may be looking to hire. Failure to consider these findings may skew the results, and could lead to some potential employees missing out.
Stephen Dilchert, PhD and one of the study's authors suggests using these findings can promote an equal opportunity workplace.
These results should be used by employers to help them avoid age discrimination, according to the researchers. "Organisations should be cautious when using certain tests of inductive reasoning, given the magnitude of age differences we found in this research," said Mr Dilchert.
"Hiring or promoting on such measures alone may lead to younger individuals being selected at much greater rates than older candidates."
The findings can also be used when deciding which employees should be offered training.