Quarter of HR Execs See Boomer Retirement as a Corporate Obstacle

June 20, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Despite warnings from many observers of the domestic labor market that the flood of retiring baby boomers could spark a difficult labor shortage, only 25% of HR managers in a survey said the event will be a problem for their companies.

According to The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 43% of the HR managers polled said the trend has the potential to cause them difficulty.

Just as serious a problem according to someHR professionals, is the lack of core competencies from new employees. About half of the respondents in the SHRM survey said they are seeing new workers without overall professionalism, written communication skills, analytical skills or business knowledge.

Many HR professionals, in both the private and public sectors, are only now becoming aware of the potential labor shortage or are just beginning to examine their organization’s management structures to determine how they will be affected, SHRM found. Just over half provide continuous skills training for incumbent workers or are researching and modifying pay scales to remain competitive.

“While it’s difficult to project the status of the job market seven years down the road, we can see clearly the challenges to the workplace,” said SHRM President and CEO Susan Meisinger in a SHRM news release. “We know there will be millions of baby boomers retiring and that some workers now entering the workforce lack core competencies. These are serious HR and workforce issues that could undermine the nation’s global competitiveness. And HR must determine how to meet these challenges.”

SHRM members may access the complete survey online for free at www.shrm.org/survey. Non-members may purchase a survey at 1-800-444-5006.