In a recent study of 1,000 U.S. employers, 78 percent indicated they were not concerned that an aging workforce might hamper their ability to recruit and retain talented workers. Additional findings include that only 28 percent of survey respondents reported having a strategy to retain workers past retirement age, while even less - just 18 percent have a strategy to recruit older workers.
There seem to be a surprisingly large number of organizations that continue to perceive roadblocks when it comes to hiring older workers, primarily cost and productivity issues, according to Manpower's research.
This can be a dangerously short sighted view considering not only the need to replace the talent, but the business/institutional intelligence that is walking out the door along with the retiree.
Organizations considering retention and recruiting programs that appeal to older workers should explore some of these successful practices:
Training programs - Mature workers are lifelong learners. Programs that build skills and increase employment opportunities will positively impact employee engagement.
Flexible scheduling options - Studies confirm that non-traditional schedules are one of the top priorities for older workers. Policies that offer part-time, flextime, job sharing, project work or generous time-off plans allow those in their retirement years to have ample time for work and personal pursuits.
Job redesigns - While mature employees want to work, many would elect to bring value to an organization in a different capacity. Whether it's less travel, fewer responsibilities or a decrease in physical demands, consider job accommodations in order to retain the institutional knowledge and skills of the most experienced employees.
Targeted recruiting strategies - As with any hiring plan, employers should consider how to reach people in the demographics that meet their needs, and older workers are no exception. Look to professional organizations, company-sponsored alumni groups and online communities for possible candidates.
More great information on the aging workforce can be found at AgingWorkForce.US