Out and In: What’s Happening with Retirees Returning to the Workforce?

By Pam Thornton, Director Strategic HR Services

There’s a whole lot of movement with our workforce demographic between the ages of 62 and 85. For starters, 1 in 4 Americans in this age bracket say they are already currently working. On top of that, 12% of fully retired Americans are likely to start working again in 2024.

What are the factors contributing to this decision? You can thank high inflation and an increase in the cost of living for the majority of workers coming back into the workforce today. Other factors include not saving enough money for retirement, paying down debt and combatting boredom. The good news is that most of these ‘returners’ are doing so enthusiastically and are hopeful that they will find quality work opportunities where they won’t be subjected to age bias in the process. So how can employers take advantage of this potentially powerful demographic to fill open roles? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Be sure that your open job ads offer flexibility, whenever possible, to account for candidates that may have the skills you seek – or some great transferable skills – that provide opportunities that meet retiree’s needs.
  • Be willing to look beyond a traditional resume at a mature applicant’s work history and experience. There may not be an exact match for your opening but can this person adapt and learn a specific skill that would benefit your organization and help you fill in the gaps?
  • Create mentorship opportunities between your more mature workers and your emerging leaders that foster cross training and idea sharing. This works especially well if you have already fostered a culture that inclusive and values different perspectives.

Our Traditionalists and Baby Boomers excelled in customer support and engagement strategies. What they may lack in today’s cutting-edge technical expertise, they can more than deliver in client relationship building. Be sure you’re including them into your workforce strategy for 2024!