Only 11 Percent of Retirees Are Working (Translation: Employers Can Pick and Choose Among a Wide Range of Candidates)

Mar 25, 2012

number-11Employee Benefit Adviser reported on the quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll. It stated that “near-retiree baby boomers have pushed back initial plans to retire at age 60, to 66. Additionally, 68% of baby boomers expect to work in some form after retirement, the survey of 1,200 Americans found.”

Not surprising so far. But what I read next was staggering, even though I have sensed it for a long time: “Only 11% of current retirees currently work.”

That’s absolutely great news for employers. That means that 89 percent of insurance retirees are potentially available to hire.

Of course, not all retirees want to work or are suited for a position that’s available. But the fact is: Employers can radically expand their recruiting territory by including retirees in their pool of candidates. In this wide-open field, most have decades of experience with a range of organizations through a variety of business conditions.

Employers can tap in to those candidates and gain their experience. The price tag can be cheaper than employers typically need to pay, because vintage experts need less training. Our experience with WAHVE over the past two years, for instance, shows that vintage experts can be up and working in a short timeframe.

What’s more, if employees are provided flexible work arrangements (such as working from home, working remotely, and/or working part-time), then the employer avoids many of the costs of housing and equipping them.

Many employers simply aren’t accustomed to hiring retirees, probably because of the inertia of their decades-old hiring and human resources practices. But for many, those practices need to change – because the insurance industry doesn’t have the pool of young candidates it had decades ago when it developed those hiring and HR habits.

In your experience, what obstacles do insurance employers face that prevent them from considering hiring retirees?

— Sharon Emek, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO


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