A compelling issue for organizations and societies at large is to ensure external employability of the workforce across workers’ entire work-life span. Using the frameworks of age norms, stereotyping and age meta-stereotypes, we investigate whether (a) age is negatively related to perceived external employability; and (b) the age-employability link is moderated by HR developmental practices (HRDPs) and unemployment rate. We argue that being aware of stereotypes and age norms in organizations, and holding also meta-stereotypes about their group, older workers perceive themselves as less externally employable. However, the context –HRDPs that one has experienced, and the country unemployment rate – would act as buffers. Using data from a large-scale survey from over 9000 individuals in 30 institutionally diverse countries, we found that the negative relationship between age and perceived external employability was significant across all countries. In addition, at the individual level, we found that HRDPs acted as a buffer for this negative relationship, such that the effect was less pronounced for individuals who have experienced more HRDPs during their working life. At the country level, the hypothesized moderating effect of unemployment rate was not observed. Limitations, future research directions, as well as practical implications of the study are discussed.
- Perceived external employability
- Age Factors
- developmental HR practices
- unemployment rate
- cross-country study