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Ready, Set, “Boomer”...Are You Missing Out on Untapped Talent?

Finding qualified talent has become more challenging over the last several years, which makes hiring managers look closer at their recruiting efforts. Have you stopped and thought of the audience you are attracting to your open positions? What about how generational differences can impact your workforce and organization for the better? There’s one generation that has been often overlooked in the recruiting process. And to be honest, it’s usually for the wrong reasons and can even become discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Attracting talent often targets younger workers because of the perception that they are more tech savvy. Hiring managers may make an assumption candidates over age 65 or 70 don’t want to work longer.

boomer

Have you thought about those “Baby Boomers” that have so much to still contribute to the workforce? Did you know that many of those retired would be happy to re-enter the workforce in part time or flex schedule roles? They have so much knowledge and expertise to provide, why wouldn’t we prioritize efforts to attract this group of talent as well?

Who Are They?

Let’s talk about who the “Baby Boomers” are as a generational category. Generational categories are grouped by typical attitudes, motivations, and historical events, which can create commonalities within those categories. Characteristics of the “Baby Boomer” generation include:

  • Born between 1946 and 1964 (aged 59-77), following World War II and the more economically optimistic times ahead.

  • Raised by “Traditionalists” or “The Silent Generation” who valued loyalty and working hard.

  • Considered the largest generational group in history, with 71.6 million reported, just under the 72.1 million reported in the Millennial group (as of 2021).

  • They are living longer and outliving their retirement fund.

Those in the age group of 65-72 continue to participate in the labor force at rates not previously seen, according to research by Pew Research Center. Additionally, about 9% of the workforce belongs to those 70 and older and it’s anticipated to increase to about 16% in 2035. (Living Longer, Working Longer: The Numbers - NPF). [Originally sourced from shrm.org: see article here.]

Valued Characteristics:

“Baby Boomers” have many beneficial attributes which make them an attractive group of talent to consider in the workplace. These characteristics include:

  • Desire to Work: Many choose to work past 65 even though they can retire.

  • Experience, Knowledge, and Expertise: They have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields due to their many years of experience. They are the most educated generational group with 2 out of 3 holding degrees. This can be invaluable to a company looking to fill a position that requires specialized skills. Many have also owned their own business and have an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Loyalty, Work Ethic and Values: Many are known for their strong work ethic, dedication, and loyalty to their employers. They often have a deep sense of commitment to their work and take pride in their jobs.

  • Self-sufficient and Problem Solving: While visibility is important to many of them, they are independent with constant feedback not required. They tend to value objective and rational decision making and can problem solve independently.

  • Interpersonal Skills: They have had many opportunities to develop interpersonal skills due to the nature of their work environments. They can communicate and work effectively with people of different ages, backgrounds, and personalities.

  • Mentoring and Leadership: They can serve as valuable mentors and leaders to younger employees and are inspiring to others. They provide guidance and support, as well as sharing their knowledge and insights with the next generation of workers, particularly in helping develop relationship building and communication skills.

  • Eager to Learn and Innovative: They have adapted to technology over the years and have a willingness to learn and appreciate professional development for success. They are also willing to take risks and contribute to innovation.

  • Diversity: Hiring baby boomers can help provide diversity of thought and different perspectives and ideas which enhance problem solving, innovation, and creativity within an organization.


So Much to Offer:

The “Baby Boomer” generation has so much to offer and provide to our organizations with their strong work ethic, discipline, and focus. Their knowledge and experience can be tied to positive performance and can be shared with future generations to avoid a gap in knowledge. When thinking about attracting talent, remember to include this dynamic group of individuals often overlooked. “Ok, Boomer” may now just have a whole new meaning in the workplace!

Questions about Boomers in your workplace? TalentRemedy has a team of experts to perform consultative and recruiting services. We can help you design generationally friendly work environments to help you fill those open roles. Contact us at info@talentremedy.com or 703-362-0175 to set up a time to discuss how our team can support you.

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