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December 21, 2016
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January 4, 2017

So much of the focus for recruiting and retaining employees is directed at younger generations – Millennials and now Gen Z – that we seem to be forgetting a key demographic of our workforce, specifically, Baby Boomers.

I recently attended a local HR session by SHRM on “HR and the Aging Workforce: Strategies and Best Practices”.  Initially it painted a pretty dire picture on the skills gap associated with the heavy number of retirees we anticipate seeing in the near future.  10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day and in only 4 years, the number of retirees nearly doubled – from 10% in 2010 to 17% in 2014.  Further – to fill the gap of retiring workers, employers will need 30 million new college-educated employees by 2020, but less than 23 million will graduate from US colleges in the next 10 years.

But there are steps organizations are taking to try to retain the skills of Baby Boomers – some of the most popular include:

  • Offering reduced hours or part-time jobs
  • Hiring retired workers as consultants
  • Allowing flexible scheduling/telework arrangements
  • Phasing or gradual retirement opportunities

SHRM reports that nearly 70% of organizations consider retirement levels a problem, but only 35% have made arrangements to address the issue.  Older workers offer valuable experience, knowledge, and professionalism that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Organizations should have the goal of retaining and engaging these workers as long as possible, transferring knowledge through mentorship with younger employees, leveraging skills from these workers after a formal retirement and actively recruiting talent in this age range.


Does your organization have a strategy for engaging the aging workforce?  If not – Purple Ink can help!

Catherine Schmidt
Catherine Schmidt
Catherine Schmidt is a former member of the Purple Ink team. She has a special interest in career coaching and recruiting and finds joy when she can connect the right person to the right opportunity.

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