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Mind the age gap

Hays Journal 8

With many workers now retiring later, what does this mean for the younger generation entering the workforce?

The number of people remaining in work over the age of 65 has risen dramatically in recent years and is expected to increase further. The trend is even more prevalent in countries with higher educational standards, creating the challenge of how to integrate Gen Y and Gen Z into the workforce, says recruiting experts Hays.  

According to Hays, businesses must create the right balance between older workers and those just entering the workforce. An ageing workforce and delayed retirement means older workers are staying longer in highly skilled jobs. But is there a risk to the talent pipeline? Do ageing workforces restrict access to young talent entering highly skilled jobs?

“Older workers have become prized assets to businesses, especially those in skill short areas, as they provide invaluable experience,” says Hays, “However, it is important that businesses strike a fine balance between retaining older workers while bringing in younger generation and allowing them to also benefit from the experience of their older colleagues.

“If we look to the future, in order to maintain our competitive edge we need to ensure the country has a future pipeline of talent who have the skills and experience necessary to replace our ageing workforce when they do eventually retire. Otherwise there will be a skills vacuum that will take many years and a huge amount of investment to fill.

“That’s why employers have to strike the right balance between retaining highly-valued, well educated and experienced older workers, and recruiting and developing the next generation of employees.”

Ultimately, Hays suggest that the focus should be on the recruitment, development and training of staff at all levels and of all ages.

“The ongoing training and development of competent people – of all ages – is essential to the future success of businesses. After all, organisations need to ensure their workforce continues to evolve to changing market conditions. And when someone does decide to retire, they need to have suitably trained and experienced professionals to replace them.”

The topic of the aging workforce is explored further in the latest Hays Journal, the recruiter’s bi-annual magazine on the world of HR and recruitment.  To access the Hays Journal please visit: