Who Do You Hire When There’s No One Left?

Over the course of human history it’s happened before: in Egypt, in Rome, in Greece. And now it’s threatening the fabric of the American workforce. On the employment horizon, looming and ominous, is another mass exodus.

According to the AARP, from now until 2030, 10,000 baby boomers a day will reach retirement age. That’s over 50 million people—people who pick and pack your company’s products, who fill your orders, who know your objectives.

These are people you know too. You’ve trained them, mentored them, memorized their faces, learned their names, chatted about their families.

Starting over—finding Gen Xers and millennials to do these jobs—will not be easy. For a host of reasons. Firstly, these generations, by and large, are untrained. From 1979 to 2006, federal government funding for employment training declined by roughly 70 percent.

This is a problem. It means that you’re stuck picking from uniformly unqualified people—people who respond to, fundamentally, the exact opposite motivations. While baby boomers lived to work—they valued security, money talked and teamwork was paramount—the younger generations typically prefer flexibility, crave autonomy and are skeptical of traditional, and largely top-down, team roles and responsibilities.

What’s more, as a company, you likely don’t have the time, infrastructure or budget to train all this new blood on the rigors and complexities of your operation. So, in the coming years, as the pages on the calendar race by, you could find yourself in cultural quicksand.

This mass exodus of baby boomers is primed to disrupt the very makeup of your workforce, and if you aren’t ready to adapt quickly, strategically or consistently, you are risking a measurable decrease in fill rates, quality and production.

What’s an employer to do?

To weather the impending employer shortfall, control your turnover rate, stay productive and continue to attract the best talent, you need proven tactics, relevant data and sophisticated technologies. Want to better understand the current recruitment climate? Learn more in our white paper, The Shift to a Job-Seeker’s Market and its Effect on the Light Industrial Workforce.