A massive demographic shift in the workforce is happening as you read this, and most businesses are unprepared for it.

The imminent retirements of baby boomers en masse will leave many companies struggling to locate talent with the abilities and know-how to replace what is being lost. For quite a few industries, this problem is already here. For instance, 50 percent of the nursing workforce is close to retirement age. With an already short supply of nurses, this could mean a massive labor issue.

However, it’s not only the healthcare industry facing this crisis. Every industry and company will soon confront this problem, with one-in-ten U.S. employees becoming qualified to retire over the next several years.

As this demographic cliff draws nearer, companies will have to source a massive amount of replacement employees and still meet objectives. This means businesses must develop a plan now to replace the abilities, expertise, and knowledge of their most experienced workers. The following steps can help your business meet the changing labor realities of the coming years.

Conduct a Workforce Assessment

The first thing a company should do is determine its exposure to the risks associated with the changing demographics. This includes figuring out which percentage of your company’s workforce is approaching retirement, what skills they provide and how the loss of those skills could impact the company.

Develop Mitigating Solutions

After determining the company’s risk exposure, management should then address the challenge by developing short-term mitigation strategies. A specifically designed mentorship or cross-training program could be used to transfer knowledge from one generation of workers to the next.

Managers could also develop potential flexible work arrangements for workers of retirement age who want to continue working in some capacity, such as an arrangement that allows them to work a few days each week. These solutions would allow a company to hold onto these workers’ experience and skills while giving them the option to be active, albeit in a more limited capacity.

Leverage Technology

As talented professionals get to be increasingly difficult to source, technology should be increasingly used to assist in each phase of the hiring process. A technology solution should be able to identify, draw in and develop new talent. It should also be able to keep candidates engaged, as well as help with the interviewing, screening and evaluating of talent. A technology solution should also have analytics functions to help continually improve the process.

Diversify Your Approach to Talent

As labor demographics change, many companies are increasingly using new ways to get the talent they need. This means working with labor providers who can supply temporary workers, permanent employees, freelancers and contract workers. A talent acquisition company can take the stress off internal teams and help them adopt an overall talent approach to leverage both technology and the realities of the modern economy.

At Cornerstone, we are well-positioned to help you company confront changing labor demographics. If you’re concerned about your aging workforce, please contact us today to discuss a wide range of talent acquisition solutions.


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