Monday, October 20, 2008

Canada: Conference Board Report Suggests Employers Not Making Efforts To Retain Mature Workers

The Conference Board of Canada has released a research report suggesting that while Canadian employers are worried about a rapidly aging workforce, they are not putting their money--or their human resources policies--into innovative ways to retain them. According to "Harnessing the Power: Recruiting, Engaging, and Retaining Mature Workers," authored by Karla Thorpe, most "organizations have not yet targeted specific human resources programs and policies to their mature workers. This is limiting their ability to attract, retain, and engage this increasingly important segment." Specifically, only 11% actively try to recruit mature workers with measures such as rehiring former employees and offering flexible hours or phased retirement.

On the hiring side, however, the Conference Board found employers to be a lot more active with regard to enticing mature workers back into the workforce. For organiazations that specifically recruit older workers, 73% report success in hiring them; for organizations taking a more general approach, only 23% report success attracting mature workers.

The report concludes that employers will need to invest in a better understanding of the motivations, needs, and preferences of this cohort in order to ensure organizational success as the post–war baby boom ages. It also singled out some employers that have responded to an aging workforce with innovative solutions.

Sources: Conference Board Executive Summary (October 2008); Canwest News Service "Mature workers need wooing: Conference Board" (October 17, 2008)

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