Can you put out a job ad for recent college graduates?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2020 | employment law

You have a job opening and the ideal candidate is one who is up-to-date on technology, modern trends and things of this nature. Maybe you want them to run your social media accounts, for instance. You need someone who uses social media all of the time and who understands it inherently, rather than someone who has to figure it out along the way.

You decide to put in your job ad that you’re looking to hire a recent college graduate. That’s who you envision for this position, after all. Are you allowed to put these types of details in the ad?

You have to be very careful with something like this. It can be viewed as age discrimination if the goal is to stop older workers, who may be “within a protected age group,” from sending in their applications for the position.

Yes, technically, the ad does not mention age. And yes, someone could go to college at 50 years old and get a degree. They would be a recent college grad. But this could be interpreted as a clear attempt to get someone who is around 22 years old, the age at which most people graduate. If this makes older workers feel like they are not allowed to apply or will not be fairly considered, that’s a problem.

That doesn’t mean you have to hire an older worker. But you have to fairly consider them and make your choice based on credentials, not age.

If you do get accused of discrimination for any reason, be sure you’re well aware of the legal steps you need to take.