Concern about the impending retirement of baby boomers across the workforce has been expressed for years. Many companies received an unofficial extension when the recession in 2008 kept many older workers involved in the job market landscape for longer than planned. Now that signs of economic recovery have stabilized various industries, and retirement accounts, baby boomers are again planning their exits.

To prepare your company for the changes that will accompany this generational shift, make sure critical areas are covered before these workers leave. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start with the information below.

Learn From Your Best

If the loss of specific employees is particularly troublesome, take the opportunity to learn from them now. Identify which skills and knowledge areas are particularly valuable and use that to guide future hiring or training efforts. Understand what opportunities caused them to develop those skills and see if they can be replicated in current employees, or sought after in new ones.

Additionally, make sure you are connecting employees to one another. Consider instituting a mentorship program to allow workers to share their knowledge and experience. Let those near the end of their careers coach the younger generations to help smooth the transition once they choose to retire.

Face the Challenge Today

It is easy to put off definitive planning efforts, but this isn’t the sort of problem that should be ignored. Within the next 15 years, the workforce will look entirely different. By facing this now, you can focus your efforts to buoy your company against the negative implications on the horizon.

Advocate for educational and cross-training opportunities. Make sure vital skill sets are possessed by multiple employees, and that hiring efforts focus on those who have critical skills or have the ability to acquire them.

Don’t Neglect Soft Skills

As baby boomers leave, younger generations will be stepping into leadership positions. While hard skills are easy to focus recruitment efforts on, it can be harder to find the right soft skills to fill in gaps left as baby boomers leave the workforce. While having the right technical knowledge and ability is important, you also need to find the next generation of supervisors, managers, and other high-level positions. When choosing candidates, make sure you identify those who possess the skills that are harder to teach, especially if they could be taught any hard skills that they don’t currently possess.

Embrace Technology

Millennials are beginning to dominate the workforce. These employees have grown up with technology and may expect it to be available in certain situations. Failure to keep up with technological advancements in your industry could discourage younger workers from considering positions with your company.

To remain competitive, you have to understand what younger employees want in a workplace. Make shifts accommodate those needs and desires, but don’t alienate baby boomers who are still working with you. Instead, allow younger workers to mentor those who are less familiar with certain tech in return for older employees imparting their wisdom. This can create a wonderful dynamic and may help employees relate to one another more fully.

Find the Right Candidates

The generational shifts, as well as declining working-age population, will make future hiring efforts more challenging. Consider enlisting the help of recruitment experts, like the professionals at TempStaff. They understand the changing workforce and can create a plan to help you excel into the future. Contact TempStaff today and see how your workplace can thrive during change.


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