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HR Tip: Few employers prepared for aging workforce

According to a recent survey, Preparing for an Aging Workforce, by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), few U.S.-based employers are making a concerted effort to change their strategies for recruiting and retaining older workers, even as many employees in their workforces approach and reach retirement age.

"By 2030, when all Baby Boomers will have turned 65, fully 18 percent of the nation's population will be at least that age," the Washington Post reported in July 2014, citing Pew Research Center population projections. Referencing a Social Security Administration report and the Pew Research Center findings, the Post noted that by contrast, "today, just 13 percent of Americans are ages 65 and older."

The challenge for HR, the report states, "is educating leaders and managers on the benefits and opportunities older workers offer employers. More work experience, maturity/professionalism, a stronger work ethic, and skills in writing in English were the qualities employers most valued in older workers."

While some older workers are staying in the workforce longer, a necessity created by the recession, employers should not be lulled into complacency and neglect to change their recruitment and retention strategies, cautioned Evren Esen, director of SHRM's survey programs.

"The demographic change already is becoming an issue in industries such as health care, higher education, and gas, oil and mining, and it's not going away. Workforce planning is important... particularly in the context of an aging workforce."