- Workers over age 50 will make up 80% of our workforce by 2018.
- By 2025, Millennials are projected to make up 75 percent of employees in the global marketplace.
- Thirty-eight per cent of Canadian companies said the ageing workforce is having a damaging effect on their ability to compete.
What are we doing to prepare for the future departure of the Baby Boomer and how are we supporting the Millennials now in preparation?
Improving leadership development
Impending retirement of the baby boom generation and the crisis in leadership during the economic recession have further elevated the importance of leadership development in the eyes of the Leadership and shareholders. Companies face two major challenges in finding and developing leaders. They need to identify qualified candidates to fill current and future leadership roles, and they need to develop a comprehensive leadership program to cultivate and develop the leaders of tomorrow.
Finding the right people with the right skills into the right jobs is a common definition of talent management and a basic HR challenge in any organization. Although talent management often focuses on managerial and executive positions, the issues involved apply to all jobs. Including:
- Workforce planning, which estimates future demand along with
- Hiring (entry-level and lateral) and internal development and promotion.
Strategic emphasis is clearly needed in keeping strong talented leaders and developing their successors with in most companies. Many organizations today are reducing their workforces, but we must be careful not to cut so deep that talent is scarce as our current economy rebounds.
Replicating a high-quality, highly engaged workforce is nearly impossible. The ability to effectively hire, retain, deploy, and engage talent—at all levels—is really the only true competitive advantage an organization possesses.
Delivering on recruitment and staffing
On average, 118 people apply for any given job and of those 118 candidates, only 23 actually get an interview. This conundrum begs the question: are employers building the best candidate pools? Staffing agencies and corporations face an identical challenge — attracting the right candidates to begin with.
To match people with the best jobs for their talent and passion, we must reinvent the practice of recruiting. Corporate recruiting teams should take a page from their staffing agency counterparts: Rely more heavily on pro-active relationship-based recruiting, restructure to focus on attracting the best candidate pool, and relate recruiting to revenue through measurement and reward. Ownership will land the best candidates only when they rethink how they’re getting applicants in the first place.
As employees get older and retire, businesses can face significant losses of critical knowledge and skills, as well as decreased productivity. The demographic trend has been exacerbated by the relentless focus on cost reduction that’s become the business norm. In their zeal to become lean, organizations continue to have round after round of lay-offs—without realizing that in just a few years they may confront severe labour shortages or, if they’ve shed mostly younger workers, be left with a relatively old workforce. In some cases, a company’s ability to conduct business may even be hindered: When people begin retiring in droves, there may be no one left who knows how to operate crucial equipment or manage important customer relationships.
Analysing future workforce supply and demand under different growth scenarios and on a job-by-job basis will enable companies to determine how many employees they are likely to need, which qualifications they should have, and when they will need them. With that information, they can set up a tailored retention, recruitment, and talent management strategy for the job functions at greatest risk of a labour shortage. Such an initiative must be launched long before things reach a crisis stage, because the remedies may need years to take effect.
Managing Change and Cultural transformation
Our challenge is to make change management part and parcel to the business plan, and not a function that in many cases is added on managed independently. We have allowed mangers to outsource change management to HR specialists and consultants instead of taking accountability.
Who is accountable for effective change management in your organization: Managers or “experts” (whether from staff groups or outside the company)? Unless your managers are accountable for making sure that change happens systematically and rigorously — and certain behaviours are rewarded or punished accordingly — they won’t develop their skills.
Everyone agrees that change management is important. Making it happen effectively, however, needs to be a core competence of managers and not something that they can pass off to others.
It’s clear that millennials will be a powerful generation of workers and that those with the right skills will be in high demand. They may also be one of the biggest challenges that many organizations will face along with our retiring experienced work force.
There are a number of key steps employers can take to address concerns raised through this review Company leadership must develop strategies with experienced talent including a focus on mentor-ship roles supporting up and coming leaders along with exits strategies with senior staff well before retirement plans. No one has a crystal ball but we can plan ahead and be proactive then be reactive to the changes that will occur in our immediate future. Our company exclusively works with the manufacturing sector supporting selection and strategies solutions towards building strong teams.