We have been hearing about its arrival for many years, but the seismic demographic shift in the workforce is already underway. Today, every tenth employee in the U.S is eligible for retirement this year or next year, and their exit will have a significant impact on many employers. The mass exodus of baby boomers creates more problems that simply finding new people to step in and take their place. When an experienced employee rides off into the sunset their knowledge base goes with them, creating a significant gap. Between recruiting and knowledge drain, is your workplace ready to manage mass retirements – and millennial hiring at the same time?

Getting Ready For The Boomer Retirement

According to research by AARP and the Society for Human Resource Management, a staggering 72 percent of human resources professionals say the loss of skilled talent from retirement will present a problem for their organization. Here are some steps your organization can take to hedge against these losses now:

  • Take a knowledge inventory. When your baby boomers leave, what unique knowledge will they take with them? Leaders must inventory the knowledge that will be lost, and begin to prepare for a transfer to the remaining workforce.
  • Cross train. Now is the time to start a comprehensive cross-training program that ensures employees are deepening their knowledge about other jobs in the organization to preserve knowledge.
  • Consider flex options for retiring workers. In order to facilitate smooth knowledge transfer, consider offering retiring employees part-time positions, consulting positions, or job-share arrangements with younger employees.
  • Diversify recruiting efforts. In order to develop a strong talent pipeline, your internal recruiting teams must be building relationships with passive candidates, and honing their social media outreach.
  • Focus on succession planning. If you haven’t evaluated your bench to identify future leaders, now is the time. Focusing on succession planning today will ensure that internal employees can step in and step up when the time comes.


Developing an effective plan for managing the generational shift depends upon the market conditions impacting your industry and your organization. For some companies, it is worth the effort to try and retain boomers for longer, and facilitate knowledge transfer that way. For other companies, it is more beneficial to invest in hiring younger workers who have the capacity to learn and grow quickly. But for most, it will be a unique combination of factors that balances both.


If your organization is concerned about the generational shift, partner with the professional recruiting experts at Systems Personnel in Buffalo, NY. We can connect you with the talent you need to keep your business moving forward. Contact us today to learn more about the ways in which we can help you improve your hiring processes.

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