Recruiting the Retirement-aged More a Challenge For Employers, Candidates

A recent McKinsey survey revealed that almost half of all Baby Boomers expect to work past the age of 65, and a recent Merrill Lynch study found that 76 percent of boomers don?t anticipate a ?traditional? retirement.

But the McKinsey research found that only 13% of retirees have actually worked as long as they had intended and that the average actual age of retirement is just 59.

Those numbers carry some sobering implications for Americans who plan on working longer into their golden years either to make up for losses in their retirement portfolios or simply to cover the escalating cost of health insurance as they outlive any previous generation.

They should also force corporate recruiters to take stock of their plans to court retirement-aged individuals in part because the same McKinsey study found that 40 percent of retirees were forced to stop working earlier than they had planned, with 56 percent of those respondents citing health reasons or having to care for a spouse or family member. The other 44 percent blamed their earlier-than-planned retirement on job loss or corporate downsizing.

?Because of significant labor shortages, several industry sectors are aggressively looking to hire and retain workers over the age of 50,? says Tim Driver, CEO of RetirementJobs.com. ?In addition, Baby Boomers and active retirees want to remain employed longer these days either due to necessity or desire, and that?s combining with an increased push by employers to keep or reach them. This represents the beginning of a sea-change in the U.S. job marketplace.??

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But one significant workforce shift that corporate recruiters will likely need to get their arms around to attract experience-rich Baby Boomers is their desire to step away from the rigidity of their pre-retirement work schedule.

When asked about their ideal work arrangement during retirement, the most popular option among respondents to the recent Merrill Lynch study was ?cycling? between periods of work and leisure. But that desire for more leisure time shouldn?t be construed as Baby Boomers taking their part-time jobs for granted.?

The Merrill Lynch study found that more than half of the adults surveyed would like to change their line of work and have already taken steps to plan for this new career by attending classes or training sessions and researching other careers.

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