Facing up to the ageing workforce debate

Recruitment is becoming much trickier for Australian businesses as the baby boomer generation begins to reach retirement age and firms start to lose vital skills.

This is a problem that businesses have known about, but has only really become an issue in recent years. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the labour force participation rate for over 55s has increased 9 per cent in the past three decades. However, most of this rise has come in the last 10 years.

A recent media release from recruitment experts Hays explained that businesses need to develop a balance now to train employees for the future. By keeping older workers in highly skilled roles for longer without hiring, there is a risk that the talent dries up and suddenly, when it comes to recruitment, there is a lack of desired skills.

Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, explained this in more detail.

"While older workers have always been an important part of the Australian workforce, in recent years the importance of this contribution has grown," he said.

"It therefore makes sense to retain mature age workers for as long as possible. But we must not do so at the expense of training and developing new entrants to the labour market."

Mr Deligiannis believes Australian businesses should be focused on recruitment as well as the training and development of their staff.

"After all, organisations need to ensure their workforce continues to evolve to changing market conditions. And when someone does decide to retire, they need to have suitably trained and experienced professionals to replace them," he concluded.

For businesses that are considering taking on additional staff with a view to the future, recruitment software is available to make the process as simple as possible.

This software can sort candidates by skills or by qualifications to ensure the perfect person is selected for the role and can contribute to long-term success.

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