Preparing for Your Upcoming Shortage of Key People
Did you know that the cost of replacing retiring or departing employees
in your business could be in the millions of dollars over the coming
decade? And while hiring retirees as contractors can fill the skills
gap, it will also slow your corporate adaptation efforts.
With the looming retirement of Baby Boomers, many companies are ill
prepared for the accelerating talent shortage to follow. They haven't
done enough to improve their hiring and employee retention practices,
or establish succession programs. Consequently, they will struggle in
attracting needed talent and sector skills in the competitive future.
They will not stand out in comparison amongst employers and will find
themselves unable to afford the replacement cost for comparable skills.
The time to act is now, since your hiring competitors may have already
taken significant steps to position themselves as an attractive
employer – an "Employer of Choice."
It's critical to recognize both the attraction and retention issues
faced. Changing your internal practices to become a competitive
employer will be a significant undertaking. Board members and
shareholders must be alerted to the issues and make the choice to
enable you to successfully compete for talent and retain proprietary
The first step is generally to craft the business case which highlights
the risk to the company and proposes an action plan to make your
business a desirable employer – which boards and shareholders
must consider seriously. Backed up by research and best practices,
identify what your company needs competitively to be a more attractive
employer, together with an appropriate budget for this effort.
Here are some of the areas such a presentation might address (customized to your business, its location and priorities):
• The cost profile of replacing retirements/departures
• The upcoming labor force demographics in Canada and specifically your region
• The folly of relying on contracted retirees as a stop gap
• What today's employees are looking for
• What other similar or competitive businesses are doing to attract and retain employees
• Human resource costs – direct and indirect
• The training costs of training up internal and external candidates
based on the difficulty in replacing critical skills in a more
• Financial and other implications arising from inability to service your customers until internal knowledge base is replace
• A plan for transitioning your business to becoming a more competitive employer
• Proposed budget and how to pay for the transition
• Measurable success criteria
Everyone knows that a few key people can make a huge difference to your
business. If you have those people now – it's important to ensure that
you don't lose them. If you need to add those people, you need to be
their most attractive option.
About the Author:
Boyle, president of HR-on-Demand, has over 30 years experience in
designing and implementing strategies and tactics for outsourced human