September 11, 2018 • Beth Williams

Filling the Workforce Gap: Preparing Your Company for Baby Boomer Retirement


The constant and rapid changes in the professional world are often attributed to technological advancements, but the impact of changing demographics on the workforce shouldn’t be overlooked. Currently, baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day and the population of younger workers with the necessary education and skills to replace them isn’t large enough or growing quickly enough to keep up. The workforce gap has become inevitable. In order to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation, future leaders need assistance gaining the skills of their predecessors. Follow these three proven strategies to effectively invest in leadership development that will prepare your team to replace those retiring.

Implement New Training Initiatives

On average, companies pay 18-20% more for external hires compared to the cost of internal promotions for similar positions. Employers that are willing to make an investment in developing their current employees are able to better prepare their existing talent for what the future holds.

Equip high-potential employees with the skills they need by combining training with your succession plan. Leverage the wisdom of retiring baby boomers to develop initiatives that focus on building key skills. Use their insight to implement programs that can identify and test potential leaders to evaluate their innate abilities. Additionally, provide employees with continuous learning opportunities to further develop their pre-existing skillsets. Professional development opportunities are a great way to increase employee engagement and retention while simultaneously preparing them to take on further responsibilities.

Encourage Mentorships

Another way to achieve intergenerational knowledge transfer is through promoting business mentorships that allow future leaders to learn from professionals with years of experience. Mentorships provide deeper-level training and improved professional development over typical programs. They also create an opportunity for current leadership to get a comprehensive understanding of how mentees will operate when they move into a leadership role.

Along with preparing leaders for their new responsibilities, mentorships increase employee retention and attract quality talent. High-achievers value mentoring and coaching, often leaving jobs in search of organizations that meet those needs. Companies like Microsoft and KPMG have extensive programs, including initiatives that give employees exposure to peers in different divisions to inspire fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. By making mentoring part of your daily culture, your staff can work together to prepare your organization for the future.

Consider Hiring Consultants

In some cases, retiring professionals have unique skillsets that are extremely difficult to find or expensive to replace. Missing critical leaders can quickly derail projects and cause internal conflict. Instead of attempting to catch a purple squirrel or place an unqualified candidate in the role, consider bringing consultants on board to supplement your team. Working with a consulting partner like Smart Resources simplifies the candidate search process. By quickly finding the knowledgeable, niche talent that you need, you can alleviate stress for your team and keep your goals on track without growing pains.

Filling the Workforce Gap: Preparing Your Company for Baby Boomer Retirement

It’s expected that by 2020, 31 million jobs will become available as Baby Boomers retire. Don’t get caught in the lurch, struggling to quickly prepare employees for leadership positions. Instead, strategize preventative and planning measures today. By using these three effective methods, you can begin readying your organization now for the impending workforce gap.


Does your organization need assistance with succession planning? Tell us how we can help you.


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