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Cost Benefits of Recruiting Baby Boomers |

1 July 2014—Kevin E. Cahill, Center's research economist is mentioned on by Keith Riffin.

As has been well documented, baby boomers are at retirement age but they’re not ready to doddle off into the sunset. They want to stay active in some capacity, which could mean huge cost savings and other less tangible benefits for companies willing to recruit them...

... Hiring a Baby Boomer doesn’t come at the expense of growth for your company because of the potential lost by not hiring a millennial. Kevin E. Cahill, PhD, a research economist with The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College and a senior economist with ECONorthwest, writes in a column at the Idaho Business Review, “Some have argued that retaining older workers hurts younger ones. For every job taken by an older worker, a younger one loses out. Don’t buy it. This argument is severely flawed economically and has been proven misguided repeatedly in empirical studies. Just think of where we would all be if the baby boomers en masse decided to stop working. Now that would be a real problem, as a large number of productive individuals would vanish and need to be supported by, you guessed it, younger workers.”

Cahill adds, “When it comes to older workers, you, the employer, have a lot to gain. The trick is being open to the opportunity right in front of you and figuring out how best to benefit. Remember, too, if you’re not open to the opportunity, the guy down the street will be.”

The economist also suggests that older workers have a desire in employment mobility that could harm your organization. “What does the new era of retirement mean for you, the employer? For one, it means look out. If your older employees are similar to other older workers across the country, they are well aware of the opportunities that the dynamic American labor market provides, and may take advantage of it. Moreover, the most talented and skilled workers are those with the most to gain in the free market. The takeaway – be cognizant of the opportunities your older workers have, and respond accordingly. Keep communication open and don’t wait until it is too late to focus on retaining the one element of your workforce that only older workers can provide – a lifetime of experience,” he writes.

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