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Retaining Older Workers More Important

Forget about Gen Y/Millennials for a second, how about retaining the older generations?

Unfortunately, we can’t all work for a dot com where younger workers and older workers can enter the industry on essentially the same footing. There are many industries where the wealth of experience an older person brings to a company actually does make a real significant difference. And with early retirement being offered in many of those industries (and early retirement being a voluntary option), the time to strengthen your retention strategy is now. Canada focus says:

The study showed mature, large companies to be at greatest risk from the demographic shift, due to their hiring history — rapid growth through the 1970s, followed by downsizing in the 90s that left them with few mid-career employees today. Leadership, sales and technical positions will be the hardest to fill.

The cost of losing older workers is high. Replacing an experienced worker can cost 50 per cent or more of their annual salary and the cost is higher in jobs requiring specialized skills, advanced training or extensive experience — all more likely in 50-plus employees.

Employers often complain the generation now entering the workforce lack core competencies — which can be counterbalanced by older employees. Many 50-plus workers have experience, dedication, focus, stability and enhanced knowledge.

So not only are people more interested in the older generation, they suddenly find worth (and aren’t anchor weight) in the corporations of today. Couple this with the fact that older workers need some serious help in the job hunt and there is opportunity screaming all over it. Some have taken advantage of this opportunity, will your company?

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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