Macro-succession crisis grows fangs

I’ve written here on two or three occasions about the looming macro-succession crisis threatening American business. Well, my colleague Whytawk over at Scholars & Rogues has a great post this morning on the dynamics shaping our emerging recession, and in it he put some teeth in the retiring Boomer piece of the macro-succession puzzle. If I’m a staffing leader at a company that relies on its ability to attract and retain talented people I just got extremely nervous.

At the same time the US has not reformed either of Social Security or Medicare and fully 76 million people out of the total 150 million of the US employment base are due to retire over the next 10 years as the Baby Boomers hit 65. [emphasis added]

Yow. That’s over half of the current workforce hitting retirement age in the next decade, and as I note in my earlier posts the Boom is a huge generation. Generation X, which will be asked to replace the Boom, is only 2/3 as big, so even if everything else goes well (it won’t) that means two butts for every three vacant seats.

Whythawk is drawing on numbers from Alan Greenspan’s memoir as well as any number of recent articles looking at ominous talent shortages in a variety of industries. I’d argue that some of the stats are a tad off, as they define the Baby Boom as 1946-1964, but generational tags notwithstanding the raw numbers are chilling.

Good recruiters are going to be worth their weight in gold in the coming years, looks like…


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