Think grey

I keep hearing some recurring themes. 1. The baby boomer population is retiring 2. There is a dip in the number of younger workers due to declining birth rates 3. Nineteen percent of the workforce will be 55 and older by 2012. What does all this mean for you? As staffing executives and contingent workforce managers you are going find it tough to find qualified recruits. What are your choices? Your single best option: using retirees. They are reliable, tried and tested. Most important, they understand the company culture and like it enough to come back. Yes, there are federal rules that impact the use of retirees. You have to watch out among other things for the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. But there are ways and means to deal with this. Besides, studies show that this pool of baby boomers are not going to retire and take up golf and gardening. They want to work and work part time. Temporary staffing could be the biggest beneficiary of older workers' desire to stay on the job. But a 2006 Manpower survey revealed only 18 percent of U.S. employers reported having a strategy to recruit older workers and only 28 percent cited a plan to retain older employees at their own firms. So get moving and think grey.

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