Remember when the words "the boss" evoked a gruff older gent honed by decades of managerial battles?
The trend - led by the dotcom world - has been toward ever-younger leaders. And a new study by Exec-U-Net, a career-management firm in Norwalk, Conn., indicates many executives now sense ageism in the hiring process - despite the hot job market.
The study found 52 percent of 1,172 senior executives polled called age a "significant" (negative) factor in a job hunt. In 1999, 45 percent called that the case; two years ago, 34 percent. There may be a countertrend, though, says an Exec-U-Net spokesman. "As [young] companies begin to face grown-up problems," he says, "we're beginning to see a shift in recruiting that favors more experienced executives."
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