Ageing labour pool challenges companies to re-think HR strategies

Nov 30 2001 by Print This Article

Based on a first-of-its-kind worldwide study, global workplace consulting firm Drake Beam Morin (DBM) predicts that the career choices and challenges of an increasingly older labour pool will have a profound impact on organisations' strategies for securing and developing talent in the coming decade.

DBM's study involved executives, professionals and managers in 21 countries. Titled "Career Choices and Challenges of Younger and Older Workers," it examines the job-change experiences of more than 15,800 individuals, all of whom have received DBM's career transition services.

The majority were in career transition due to an organisational change, such as a merger or acquisition.

Analysed by age group (Mature Workers - born prior to 1946; Baby Boomers - born between 1946 and 1964; and Generation Xers - born between 1965 and 1981), the data reveals significant differences in career expectations and realities among workers of different generations.

"Our findings suggest that as our labour pool ages, organisations need to embrace human resource management practices that support a truly multigenerational workforce," observes Tony Gould, Managing Director, of DBM. "In fact, leveraging the labour pool's demographic strengths will be one of their most important competitive strategies for the coming decade."

Research Highlights
Younger workers are less likely to network. While more than half (51 percent) of Mature Workers cited networking as their source for finding a new job, only 36 percent of Generation Xers cited the same. Rather, this younger generation also tends to rely on advertisements (19 percent) and search firms (18 percent).

Switching industry or job function appeals to all ages. One in two study participants, regardless of age, changed industry or job function successfully.

Older workers aim for more flexible/alternate career options. While the majority of Generation Xers (53 percent) and Baby Boomers (48 percent) selected full-time work, fewer Mature Workers (27 percent) opted for the same. Rather, Mature Workers were more likely to seek more flexible situations, such as part-time work, self-employment and consulting.

Time to re-employment increases with age; salaries plateau, then decrease. Workers over the age of 50 take nearly twice as long to identify and secure new employment positions as do their younger counterparts under the age of 30. Further, with the advance of years, the expectation of a salary increase diminishes gradually, with Mature Workers having a 50 percent probability of experiencing a pay cut in future career endeavours.

Drake Beam Morin is the worldwide leader in providing strategic human resource solutions that help organisations align their workforces to meet changing business needs. Known for over 30 years for its innovative and effective career transition services, Drake Beam Morin provides services in employee selection, development, retention, and transition. Drake Beam Morin now has more than 200 offices in 44 countries. Visit Drake Beam Morin at .

To arrange interviews or for further information please contact:
Georgie Hollett, Nicola Hunt PR
Tel: 020 74909310. Email: [email protected]
Helen Brooks, DBM
Tel: 0207 9558246 Email: [email protected]