A New Workforce on the Rise

December 13, 2021
Author: Rosie Greaves, Contributing Writer

Baby boomers are retiring. 3.2 million boomers across the U.S. retired in 2020 alone. This has created massive skills shortages, especially in the healthcare and nursing, manufacturing, construction and IT sectors. Consequently, HR and hiring managers may have to shift their focus and hire fresh talent with less experience to fill the skills gaps.

Baby Boomers Retire Leaving a Skills Gap for Organizations

It's unlikely that this will be a short-lived trend. Considering that today’s youngest boomers will be 64 in 2030, it's then that the full impact of these departures will be felt. Employers who don't prepare will be left behind with gaping skills across their workforce.

We’ll inevitably see a shift towards solving skills shortages by hiring from within or training existing staff alongside recruiting for less complex skill sets.

It's also worth noting that although hiring younger talent may mean fewer costs for employers, it may also involve employers reconfiguring their compensation packages to reflect the needs of a younger cohort.

However, it’s essential not to forget the boomers who want to remain in the workplace, regardless of their age. While employers focus on hiring increasing numbers of Gen Z'ers and Millennials, boomers face a unique set of challenges. Most notably, they're often competing against younger candidates willing to work for less. Not to mention, many are being interviewed using methods they're unfamiliar with.

For HR professionals, this means dealing with potential difficulties with plugging skills gaps while ensuring they remain non-discriminatory as they tackle this tricky transition.

Gen Z and Millennials will soon dominate the workforce. In fact, it's predicted that they'll make up around 75% of workers by 2025. On top of that, further research shows that Millennials already comprise approximately 35% of the U.S. workforce. So if the 75% predictions are accurate, the workplace generation divide will continue to shift dramatically in an incredibly short timeframe.

For HR teams, this means the pressure’s on not only to adjust recruitment strategies to meet the needs of a new demographic, but also to fill a mass number of vacancies as baby boomers retire at a rapid rate. As a result, organizations need to start assessing the tools and hiring approaches to address the short and longer-term implications of these changes.