Ready for the post-Boomer retirement brain drain?

With all the talk about how Baby Boomers are putting off retirement, are employers really looking at a critical skills shortage in the coming years?
According to a recent study from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and AARP, a lot of people think the answer’s yes — 72% of HR pros polled described the loss of talented older workers to be “a problem” or “a potential problem” for their organizations.
What companies are doing to prepare for the loss of talented older workers who retire:

  • increased training and cross-training (45%);
  • developed succession planning (38%);
  • hired retired employees as consultants or temporary workers (30%);
  • offered flexible work arrangements (27%), and
  • designed part-time positions to attract older workers (24%).

The poll also asked HR pros to identify the greatest “basic skills” and “applied skills” gaps between workers age 31 and younger compared with workers age 50 and older.

  • Basic skills – more than half (51%) of human resource managers indicated they find older workers to have stronger writing, grammar, and spelling skills in English;
  • Applied skills – more than half (52%) of human resource managers said older workers exhibit stronger professionalism/work ethic.

The poll found that many companies are largely unprepared for the brain drain that’ll occur after Boomers retire. Roughly 71% of those polled still have not conducted a strategic workforce planning assessment to analyze the impact of workers 50 and older who will leave their organizations, SHRM and AARP said.