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HR professionals appear unconcerned about losing older workers according to survey

by on January 22, 2015

The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent survey in the US by the SHRM (similar to the CIPD in the UK) as part of their “Aging Workforce Initiative”.  The survey focuses particularly on the perception of older workers by HR professionals working in large organisations and, critically, whether and how these perceptions are impacting HR strategy.

While the survey suggests that HR professional value the contribution of older workers (WSJ quotes figures for example that 77% say that older workers have more knowledge and skills than their younger counterparts and 59% report that they are more reliable than their younger counterparts) this does not translate to action in terms of HR policies  WSJ reports that:

  • while there is a recognition that many older workers will leave the workplace, “just 24% of HR professionals believe the loss of talent they face will be a potential problem”
  • “only 6% said the rising age of the U.S. workforce has caused them to make changes to their policies and practices. Another 7% say they have either proposed policy or management changes or have a plan in the works to implement changes”.

This suggests that HR professionals in the US have someway to go to understand the implications of changing demographics.  I wonder what the results would be in the UK.


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