Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Europe: Survey Shows More Companies Responding to Demographic Changes, Responsive to Older Workers

According to Adecco Institute, European companies are waking up to the demographic challenge of an aging and shrinking workforce, with an increased number of companies having started to analyze their internal age structure and more large companies planning to hire more employees aged 50 and older in 2008 versus 2007. These are the results of Adecco's second demographic survey: "Facing Europe’s Demographic Challenge: The Demographic Fitness Survey 2007".

Applying its Demographic Fitness Index (DFX), which measures the preparedness of companies to cope with the demographic crunch on a scale of 100 to 400 points, Adecco also shows there is much to be done. Overall, European companies averaged 182 points, with Germany and the UK leading with 186 index points each, followed by Italy (182), Spain (180) and France (174). The DFX measures career management, lifelong learning, knowledge management, health management, and diversity management.
The increase in the number of companies analyzing age structures indicates an increased awareness of the issue: 40 percent of all European firms, up from one third a year ago, have conducted an analysis of the overall age structure of their organizations. Medium-sized firms have demonstrated the most significant improvement over the past year.

However, only in France and the UK has this improved level of knowledge of the age structure, so far, led to an increase in long-term staff planning. In the survey, no European company planned their overall staff needs more than 18 months ahead.

One of the most encouraging findings of the 2007 Demographic Fitness Survey is that more and more of the large European companies are willing to hire older employees. 16 percent intend to hire more older employees in 2008 than in 2007, and the share of companies who plan to hire fewer people over 50 has decreased from 42 percent to 34 percent.
Source: Adecco Institute Press Release (January 31, 2008)

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