Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Survey: Employers Still Not Prepared for Boomers Leaving Workforce

Even though millions of Baby Boomers are poised to age out of the workforce, companies in the United States remain unprepared for their departure and the "imminent talent desert that promises to alter the productive capacity of business and disrupt the national economic landscape," according to a report issued by Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. In particular, 68% of the 696 organizations surveyed do not yet know how old their workers are or what proportion is likely to retire, while 40% stated that the aging of the workforce will have a detrimental impact on their organization in the next three years.

The 2009 Talent Management Study: The Pressures of Talent Management also reports that:
  • 77% of employers surveyed had not analyzed projected employee retirement rates or assessed employee career plans;
  • 56% had not assessed the skills their organizations need today and into the future; and
  • 30% reported not having enough programs for recruitment, and 35% not enough for training of older workers.
The study's authors note that while the aging population will affect companies differently, the long-predicted workforce desolation has generated surprisingly limited responses. Baby Boomers represented the largest portion (48%) of the U.S. labor force in 2000, but this is estimated to decline to 37% by 2010, leading some economists predict labor shortages of 10-15 million in the coming decade.
“The out-migration of an entire generation of workers will upset the entire balance of the workplace,” said Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Director of the Sloan Center on Aging & Work and report co-author. “Knee-jerk reactions to today’s challenging economic reality aside, US companies need to start planning strategically for workforce sustainability. The current abundance of older worker talent and experience is going to dry up, and businesses will very soon need to fill hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.”
Source: Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College News Release (November 17, 2009)

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