AVOIDING THE BABY-BOOM BUST

Survey Finds Majority Of Businesses Concerned About Losing Employees To Retirement

 

MENLO PARK, CA, May 12, 2005 -- As the number of workers nearing retirement grows, companies have begun bracing for their departure, a new survey suggests. A majority (55 percent) of executives polled recently said their companies are concerned about losing key staff to retirement in the next five to 10 years. An even greater percentage, 78 percent, said their firms are taking steps to compensate for the loss of baby-boom-age employees.

 

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing service specializing in accounting, finance and information technology. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 executives with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

 

Executives were asked, “How concerned is your company about losing key workers to retirement in the next five to 10 years?” Their responses:

 

Very concerned... .........    15%..................

Somewhat concerned... .......    40%

Not very concerned.... ........    34%

Not at all concerned.... ........   11%

                                                                                                              100%

 

Respondents were also asked, “What steps, if any, is your firm taking to compensate for the loss of baby-boom-age workers to retirement?” Of the 78 percent of executives who said their organizations are taking steps in this area, their responses included*:

 

Implementing/enhancing succession-planning programs...... ..........    59%..................

Providing employees training/professional development. ........    53%

Increasing employee recruiting and retention efforts.......... ........    45%

Implementing or enhancing mentoring programs...... ........    35%

Inviting retirees/future retirees to be consultants/trainers........... ........    25%

Increasing compensation and bonuses. ........    15%

 

(*Multiple answers were permitted.)

 

“Coming demographic shifts point to changes in the makeup of the U.S. workforce: As members of the baby-boom generation retire, shortages of skilled workers will likely start emerging,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies® (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Tenured employees take with them valuable experience, industry contacts and knowledge of best practices that are difficult to replace.”

 

Messmer pointed out that managers should take steps now to groom their companies’ future leaders by instituting succession plans and providing professional development opportunities to high-potential employees. He added that organizations should also look for ways to keep those nearing retirement involved through consulting, mentoring or training roles.

 

Robert Half has more than 330 locations throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services at www.roberthalf.com.

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