MCP in the News: How to Stem the 'Silver Tsunami'
This article is bylined by MCP's President and CEO Darrin Reilly. It originally appeared in American City & County. Baby boomers are retiring in droves, and the exodus will continue for several more years, exacerbating the public sector’s staffing crisis—here’s what to do
The term “baby boomer” applies to anyone born between 1946 and 1964. There have been a lot of baby boomers—according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 73 million in total, and this demographic today represents 21.5 percent of the population. However, by 2030, all the baby boomers will be 65 or older, which means that many already are leaving the workforce and more will follow in droves. The Census Bureau estimates that about 10,000 people cross the age threshold every day. It further is estimated that about 365 Americans retire every hour.
Consequently, the baby boomer exodus, i.e., the “silver tsunami,” promises to exacerbate the acute staffing shortages that many public sector organizations already are experiencing, compounded by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When someone working for a public sector organization retires, the consequences can be dire due to tremendous loss of institutional knowledge regarding the organization’s operations and technologies.
This problem is not going away—if anything, it only is going to grow, at least for the next decade or so. And it could not come at a worse time. Many public sector organizations are going through a digital transformation, radically changing the way they deliver services to the citizens they serve, whether it be by transitioning to cloud-based services or by implementing innovative technologies that will enhance their response capabilities. This type of transformation requires information technology (IT) skillsets, an area where there is an even smaller talent pool to draw from given the competition from the private sector, which tends to offer more competitive pay and benefits.
Consequently, action is needed to counteract the problem and its effects. It is vitally important then that every public sector organization develops succession plans that identify the job requirements for each position, how candidates will be recruited, how they will be evaluated, how they will be trained and how they will advance.
Fortunately, several effective strategies and tactics exist that can be leveraged by any public sector organization, as follows.
Read the full article here in American City & County.