Workforce gap, talent shortage, hiring crisis. You probably hear these phrases a lot, and for good reason. Each speaks to the impending hiring challenges that businesses are facing as a consequence of the baby boomer generation hitting retirement age. Currently, about 10,000 baby boomers retire each day, and that rate will only increase over time. Naturally, that’s a ton of jobs that need to be filled.
How can businesses start preparing to handle the workforce gap?
Groom Millennials for Advancement
With so many vacant positions left behind by baby boomers, companies are going to have to start promoting from within and adapt a next-employee-up mentality. The employees you have working beneath retiring baby boomers might not be as old and experienced as you’d like, but by grooming them for advancement you can better prepare them for the next step in their career. The generation that you’ll most likely need to tap for advancement will be millennials.
By identifying the potential for improvement in your younger staffers, you can begin to groom and train them for leadership. But this may be more about changing perceptions in the workplace than grooming millennials for the roles. While your remaining baby boomers and your gen-x employees may gruff about millennials, the generation is far more prepared than they get credit for. By focusing on soft skills and long-term development, companies can take advantage of the natural talent millennials bring to the table.
Partner with a Contingent Workforce
The gig economy isn’t going anywhere any time soon. After the recession that began in 2007, many people left the traditional workforce and didn’t look back. But the benefits aren’t just for workers who want flexibility over their time and productivity.
There are advantages to working with freelancers and contractors, including those who are location independent. Learn if the gig economy is right for you.
Retain Baby Boomers for as Long as Possible
Some companies may simply want to retain their top performing boomers for as long as possible. While this is not a sustainable strategy, it can provide some added security in the short term. For example, organizations are creating mentorship programs to pair baby boomer employees with millennials to encourage the transfer of knowledge.
Other methods include making your workplace attractive to older adults, offering good benefits, making flexible schedules and more. Read more about baby boomer retention here.
Look Toward the Next Generation
Finally, it may be time to focus on another generation altogether. While Generation X may complain about being overlooked as a result of being sandwiched between the celebrated baby boomers and the much-maligned millennials, it’s probably time to consider the youngest labor group currently entering the workforce instead: generation Z.
Generation Z workers are arriving in the marketplace faster than companies are preparing for them. In fact, they are poised to be an even larger generational cohort than millennials or baby boomers. And if businesses don’t think they’re quite ready for millennials, it may be helpful to get a head start on this new generation.
Do you want to better understand the generations in the workforce and prepare for the coming workforce gap? Contact US Tech Solutions to learn more today.