Human Resources: How to Reverse the Loss of Experienced Talent
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, America’s 76 million baby boomers last year began to reach age 60 at a rate of one every seven seconds. Thirty-five million boomers will retire between 2000 and 2020, and in the decade after that, another 23 million will join them.
If you haven’t already noticed this trend in your own organization, get ready: A good portion of your workforce will be leaving in the next two to 10 years, and they’ll be taking their years of experience and hard-earned talent with them. As a consequence, you’ll going to have a hard time meeting your customers’ needs unless you have a plan in place and are operating now.
Following are a few strategies for reversing the loss caused by retiring baby boomers:
1. Offer retirees part-time or consulting arrangements. Although experienced workers have done their time and look forward to their post-career years, many will seek more than a leisurely retirement. While they may want to spend time with their families, develop hobbies and travel, many will feel unproductive once they’ve said goodbye to a lifelong career.
The upside for catalogers is that if the can retain these experienced employees on a part-time basis, they can accomplish the same job in less time than a brand new employee with little experience.
2. Establish mentoring relationships. When you hire recent college grads, give them part of the job that the experienced people used to do. Set up mentor programs between employees close to retirement and these younger recruits. Let the mentors show the greenhorns how to do the job, but don’t place full responsibility for the duties on the new employees to alleviate unnecessary pressure. If you can pair these two types of employees up, you will begin to get great benefits almost immediately.