Do call centres discriminate against older workers?

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How old is the oldest agent in your call centre?

Research from a wide ranging YouGov survey shows that on average only 10% of call centre agents are aged over 50 or more.

Does this research show clear signs of ageism in our contact centres?

The age breakdown is as follows

Age Percent
18-24 22%
25-29 24%
30-34 16%
35-39 13%
40-44 7%
45-49 7%
50+ 10%

And the profile towards younger workers is even more marked with over 46% of call centre agents being aged under 30.

[Source: Voice of the Contact Centre Agent (YouGov, Avaya, Sabio) – Research report June 2008, Sample size 946 call centre agents]

Do you think that contact centres discriminate against older workers?

Do you employ older agents? If so, how old is your oldest agent?

Please leave your answers

Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 18th Jun 2008 - Last modified: 18th Mar 2024
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  • It may also have something to do with the age and maturity of the contact centre market.

    Most contact centres have been established for less than 20 years, so to work in a contact centre the older agent would probably have needed a change of career.

    jamesportcullis 18 Jun at 15:05
  • Your question about discrimination about older workers is silly as most over 50 who have to work in a call center don’t TWEET. Is this a magazine to make people feel better about being slaves for these huge multinationals. Maybe things are better in the UK or maybe you’re used to being treated poorly by an employer. In the USA, these places are a slap back in time to every worker. No consistant policies, favatism, sexism, and yes, lots of age and disability discriminations. Above all, don’t treat the Customer better than the IVR. Don’t explain to the older or foreign callers so they will understand. Just get rid of the people that use the Medical benefits and can see what goes on in the name of making a profit. Maybe if the US had a good healthcare system, it would be comparable, but I can see this site is not for the masses trapped in these hell jobs. A Call Center that has a huge US Gov contract is in the process of geting rid of every employee over 45. I was looking for a resource because me and two friends are next. Yes, I am over 50. Jobs of the future? We’re cooked. Why don’t the decent shops advertize the pros of doing Customer Service right? Is the whole world so greedy with their business that the phone calls into them are nothing but an annoyance to be outsourced. SAD

    Colleen U.S.A 3 Jun at 18:44
  • Our contact centre has been in operation for 17 years and our mix is quiet different

    18-24 7.2%
    25-29 16.7%
    30-34 15.9%
    35-39 15.5%
    40-44 15.9%
    45-49 11.6%
    50+ 17.1%

    With our oldest at 67

    there are a few reasons for this; when we opened we offered significantly higher salaries than other local contact centres and index linked these saleries; we also have a large mature stutent population due to our language requirments.

    Aaron Gourlay 7 Feb at 10:15
  • I am glad to note that a 67 year old person is also working as a call center agent. That surely makes a call center a good ’employer’ Cheers!

    sridhar 2 Sep at 13:50