Bye, Bye Boomers: Filling the Baby Boomers' Gap in the Workplace

For years, companies have relied on Baby Boomers to propel their businesses and organizations into success, but as this group ages, retirement is an inevitable fate on the horizon. With over a third of the workforce population between the ages of 55 and 75, the void that Baby Boomers will leave behind is sure to rattle companies across all industries. The question on everyone's mind, then, is who will fill this gap, and how?

Retirement Uncertainty

Determining when Baby Boomers plan on retiring is a key factor in looking to replace them. The problem is employers and employees are rarely on the same page when it comes to planning for retirement. Many older workers today plan on working into their 70s, not because they want to, but out of financial necessity. Of course, other than a well-planned future, unexpected circumstances can sometimes cause them to retire sooner, such as poor health, leaving business owners with unexpected positions to fill.

Even with their experience and loyalty to companies, however, employers are aware of the cost that Baby Boomers will inflict on them by choosing to work longer, including salary costs and potentially blocking promotion opportunities for younger employees. Whether they hope to stay longer or leave when expected, there is no denying that retirement will come sooner rather than later for millions of people.

Gen X & Millennials Up to Bat

Younger generations like Gen X and Millennials are the obvious solution to fill the Baby Boomers' gap, making up around 109 million workers in the workforce. Unlike their older counterparts, though, Gen X and Millennials have very different needs and perspectives when it comes to employment.

People born between 1965 and 1980 are often consumed with juggling their own children and assisting with the care of their aging parents. Benefits such as vacation time and paid time off are significant factors in whether they will stay with a company for an extended amount of time.

Meanwhile, those born between 1981 and 1997 are generally inexperienced in niche trades and are looking for perks in the workplace that Baby Boomers would generally never dream of asking for, such as flexible work schedules and casual work attire. Because of the factors that come with the phasing out of the older generation, businesses must do some self-evaluating to accommodate their new, younger employees if they hope to stay afloat.

Company Flexibility

In order to attract new employees who are skilled in the areas and positions left behind by Baby Boomers, companies must be flexible. First and foremost, that means looking at the opportunities and potential to hire those positions within the geographical area the company serves. Forming partnerships with trade schools and offering apprenticeship programs are easy ways to ensure your positions are filled by those skilled in the areas you seek. Additionally, consider providing plenty of training workshops and seminars to supplement for the knowledge and experience left behind from your previous employees. Young people may not be as skilled as their older co-workers, but with the right support, they can be.

Second, business must look at their culture and policies, and consider other options to entice younger generations. By changing outdated policies or implementing ones with more flexibility, younger workers are more likely to want to work for you. Consider adding benefits, such as customizable work schedules, opportunities for professional growth, and generous vacation days. Additionally, if the work is conducive to remote workers, consider opening positions to those who work from home or even in other countries. Changes like these may be the difference between maintaining a successful business or walking away with the Baby Boomers.

By being open-minded about the future of your company and remaining flexible when it comes to hiring new employees, you can successfully transition your business from one dependent on Baby Boomers into one with endless opportunities and success. The AllStaff Group is here to help you make that transition a smooth one. Contact us today for the most relevant and effective tips for all of your recruitment needs.