There has been significant media attention shone on the impending mass exodus of baby boomers from the workforce, yet many employers have not taken the steps to prepare their companies for the impact of these future losses.
The Loss of Boomers Will Create a Gap in Skills
According to research by AARP and the Society for Human Resource Management, 72 percent of HR professionals say that the loss of skilled talent to retirement will present a problem for their organization. Even so, a staggering 71 percent of those polled said they have not conducted a strategic workforce planning assessment to truly understand just what the impact will be.
The loss of talented older professionals could create a skills gap in many organizations. Seasoned veterans have built up a wealth of crucial skills that many younger workers simply have not had the time to develop. Additionally, there are other skills, including soft skills, which will cause an organization to suffer from a gap when Boomers take their leave.
How to get your company ready for the boomer exit
So what can you do to prepare for the impending loss of seasoned talent at your organization? The companies that have taken proactive steps report the deployment of tactics such as:
- Increasing internal training and cross-training initiatives
- Apprenticeship programs to bring younger workers’ skills up to speed faster
- Focusing on succession planning
- Bringing back retired employees to work as consultants
- Offering flexible work arrangements
- Job share programs
- Creating modified part-time positions to keep boomers on staff longer
While some employers are focusing on retaining older talent for longer, others are making efforts to fill their pipeline with younger talent (Generation X and millennials) who demonstrate the capacity to learn and grow their skills over time. The right recipe for replacing retired boomers will vary from company to company, but it’s becoming exceedingly apparent that organizations must develop long-term recruiting, hiring and retention strategies today to ensure they are not left empty-handed down the line.