How to harness the capabilities of an older workforce

by HCA18 Nov 2016
The Australian population is aging rapidly and over 65s are projected to increase in numbers from 3.5 million to 5.8 million over the next 15 years.
 
Consequently, research by ManpowerGroup Solutions suggests that helping businesses to recruit an older workforce is an economic necessity.
 
The research also follows a recent report suggesting an older workforce could deliver gains of $78 billion to the Australian economy through increased GDP.
 
The survey also notes that a quarter (25%) of respondents feel their careers decisions are impacted by a lack of access to technical training.
 
The projected 32% increase in university fees also underlines the importance of engaging an already educated and experienced workforce, said Sue Howse, general manager at ManpowerGroup Solutions, Australia and New Zealand.
 
 “If education costs soar as predicted the talent shortage will be exacerbated,” she added.
 
“And again there is a ready solution by re-engaging older workers who have elementary training in their field and the resources to upskill.”
 
Howse explained that developing a strategy for retaining and recruiting older employers makes excellent business and economic sense.
 
“We have an aging population, people are living longer and it is a reality that the pension age could foreseeably increase to 70 years,” she said.

“And considering the talent shortage this a viable solution for businesses of all sizes.”
 
ManpowerGroup Solutions has developed strategies to harness the capabilities of an older workforce. Included in this are simple steps all employers can take.
 
Open the door before they walk out of it. Planting the seed for future part-time work with employees who are about to retire opens the door for potential opportunities later on. Employers who broach the idea first can put their companies at the top of the list for returning talent.
 
Leverage referrals. Providing incentives for un-retirees to refer other potential hires can also be a way to tap industry talent from competitive organizations.
 
Align reward structures and emphasise flexibility. Flexibility is as important as compensation in recruiting and retaining boomerang workers. Phased retirement (gradually reducing the number of hours worked each week or the number of weeks worked over a given period of time) can also be a win-win strategy.
 
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