According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), very few U.S.-based employers are ready for older employees in the workplace. Failing to follow the trend of their Asian counterparts, they are not even considering the option of recruiting and retaining older employees. Total HR Management believes taking advantage of the skills and experience of older employees is a cutting edge trend that needs to be highlighted.
The survey by the Society for Human Resource Management was conducted with 1,913 U.S.-based employers. In the survey results, only 3 percent of organizations report having a formal strategy to recruit older employees and only 4 percent have a formal retention strategy for this demographic. Moreover, as many employees in their workforces approach and reach retirement age; they are not considering what to do with such employees if they want to stay on board and put off retirement. This is a real problem.
The survey results in SHRM’s report Preparing for an Aging Workforce shows that nearly 50 percent of HR professionals said they did not think the potential loss of talent during the next one to two years would have an impact on their company. Still, showing some awareness of the issue, one-third indicated they believed it would be a problem or even a crisis in the next six to ten years.
Baby Boomers = Older Employees
As 75 million Baby Boomers reach retirement age, SHRM believes the eyes of these HR managers need to be opened, and Total HR Management agrees with our industry leader. Although Generation X, the Millennials and now Generation Z are entering the workforce, they cannot replace the experience and track records being lost. This is why older employees need to be retained and even recruited.
“Gen X and the Millennials are well-educated generations. It’s just that the need for skilled, educated and experienced workers is going up and up,” explains Jennifer Schramm, SHRM’s manager of workplace trends and forecasting. “This is why [employers] will want to hold onto their experienced and skilled older workers as long as they can.”
According to the SHRM report, the challenge for HR professionals is educating leaders and managers on the benefits and opportunities older employees offer. Such a challenge is even more important for professional employer organizations like Total HR that specialize in recruitment and selection. Total HR is helping our client companies prepare for this transition.
Are You Ready For Older Employees?
In a poll reported on in the study, “nearly two-thirds of HR professionals said their organizations employ older employees who have already retired from other companies or careers; 46 percent of those employees are a mix of full- and part-time workers, 43 percent are full-time employees and 11 percent are part time.”
The most commonly cited recruitment methods to target workers ages 55 and older are employee referrals and social media. Among those using social media to recruit older employees, 74 percent use LinkedIn and 49 percent use Facebook to find job candidates.
To help with this process, Total HR offers four approaches to take when it comes to dealing with the dual challenge and opportunity of accessing older employees and taking advantage of their abilities.
4 Approaches When It Comes To Older Employees
- Look beyond old stereotypes to see the talents and experiential benefits of an aging workforce
- Make workplaces more open to an aging workforce by providing an environment where different generations can work together and learn from each other
- Hire retired employees as consultants or temporary workers to help younger employees as mentors and guides
- Consider implementing flexible work arrangements for older employees such as part-time work, flexible hours, and telecommuting
Total HR Management Can Help
To learn more about being prepared for the challenge and opportunity of older employees, contact Total HR Management to set-up an HR audit. Please call (800) 975-5128 today to speak with an HR professional and access the help your small to mid-sized company needs. You also can take a look at the first part of this two-part article.
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