Strategic Workforce Planning Survey — Released April 2012

Released in April 2012, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and AARP’s Strategic Workforce Planning Survey provides some interesting insight into the future of workforce planning for all types of employers. Approximately 400 organizations across the country were surveyed, and participants include employers in the private, nonprofit and government sectors. Of these, 40 have conducted strategic workforce planning and almost 30% have begun to analyze the effect of workers over 50 years of age leaving their organizations. The survey also shows that employers are starting to take more seriously the impending talent shortage when older workers do begin to retire in droves, with 39% beginning to investigate succession planning, phased retirements and other management practices. There are some notable skills gaps among the potential retirees and younger workers in employers’ minds as well. Over half reported that writing skills and professionalism/work ethic were the largest areas lacking in younger workers as compared to those 50+. Though only 26% of participants reported that they believe the potential loss of talent from older workers retiring or leaving their organizations is a problem, we encourage organizations to have a strong succession plan in place in any case. Looking at the identified skills gaps mentioned above shows that there is clear room for training and development in the next generation of talent and organizations would do well to build their own plans to identify their next generation of leaders now, before it becomes a crisis.

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